Software development is transforming at lightning speed. Time to talk development with our software experts. What has changed for developers due to the enormous popularity of the cloud? What impact did the pandemic have on this industry, and what is our outlook for the future?
What are companies' most significant software development challenges?
First and foremost, how to find the right people?! The employment market is tight, and the war for talent is real - you know what they say, you are as good as your last hire! Without a fresh pair of eyes, companies are struggling to move forward. That's why they ask us to provide people with the proper knowledge and skills. Secondly, companies find it challenging to increase business value because it is hard to adopt a modern development culture, improve processes, and get the hang of new systems. Thirdly, during the pandemic, we saw a sudden surge in demand for e-commerce solutions. It became apparent which companies were digital frontrunners and which had sat back. The latter had to play catch-up to keep their heads above water.
The root of these challenges
Market demand has increased drastically. More online traffic puts more pressure on IT systems, forcing companies to rebuild their current solution or invest in a completely new one. Also, digital services are becoming more popular, such as e-commerce or e-health. The platforms used for these services must be fast and highly scalable to deal with the load.
Which software development trends can we identify?
Companies are increasingly looking toward the cloud for scalability, from SaaS to cloud-native solutions. Additionally, they are adopting Microservices architectures that enable teams to deliver business value and accelerate the production process independently. Other trends include:
- Separating the back and front end
- Reducing the difference between server-side and client-side rendering in Java application shortens the time-to-market
- Edge computing
- The rise of transitional apps
- Design Systems: standardized components enable us to build new apps quickly
- Zero downtime deployments
- Automated testing
- Kubernetes will become irrelevant in the long run
What about productization?
To successfully create digital products, companies must transcend silos and boost collaboration between product management, product design (UX, UI), and software development. Today's alarming shortage of IT talent could throw a spanner in the works here. Luckily, and we already see this happen, companies are asking third parties to help them.
We believe now is the time to move from project to product (management). We are already noticing a growing demand for product owners, architects, and startup-like business units, independent, fast, agile units ideal for driving change without impacting existing, often perfectly working departments.
How can Xebia help?
We help customers where they need it most, from rebuilding legacy and sharing knowledge to filling staff shortages. Developing from scratch is not that hard, but improving your software while running is hard. Therefore, we offer custom solutions that enable companies to modernize with zero downtime. In a nutshell, we help you move forward without hiring people yourself. And if you have international ambitions, we can support them with a ready-to-go offshore team.
"Today's companies are short of talent, so they will look to us for help after going live. We provide them with a team that manages the application, ensures it stays up and running, and continues developing it with them."
What's next? 7 trends in Software Development
- PHASED OUTSOURCING: add global experts to your team. After you have worked together and understand your system, they can take over for the long term, increasing quality, reducing costs, and shortening your time to market - all leading to business growth.
- THE RISE OF GLOBAL TEAMS: create a follow-the-sun model that enables a global workflow across timezones.
- FROM PROJECT TO PRODUCT: more and more companies are (re)building their business model around software IP. This turns them into ISVs, forcing ISVs to rethink their business model.
- BUILDING FOR CHANGE: future-proof systems are created on an evolutionary architecture that considers your needs over the next 20 years. When you build for change, products are sustainable.
- SOFTWARE PROJECTS INCREASINGLY DRIVEN BY THE BUSINESS: software projects are increasingly driven by non-IT departments. For instance, we will see the marketing unit manage an e-commerce initiative from start to finish.
- STANDARDIZATION: we are gradually moving away from custom software development towards greater use of off-the-shelf solutions. To avoid duplicate efforts, shorten the time to market, simplify scaling and experimenting and cut costs, less software is created from scratch. Instead, developers will increasingly combine existing elements. When connected, they form an "as a service" system (for instance, back-end as a service).
- KUBERNETES WILL BECOME IRRELEVANT: Kubernetes is increasingly a means to an end. We see developers define the application model and have the infrastructure handle this as PaaS. Initiatives like this are already observable and pushed by cloud providers. We advise you to build your software in a Kubernetes agnostic way. Use CNCF initiatives like DAPR, which provides a vendor, language, and cloud-agnostic distributed application runtime to build microservices solutions. This way, you are agnostic of the hosting platform that gives you the capabilities that Kubernetes does.