The new year is a time when many business leaders take stock of their organization and develop a plan for what they want to achieve in the coming months. Many of the clients I’ve worked with also take the time to evaluate how technology is changing so they can decide how to stay competitive in a constantly changing landscape.
Technology has seen many changes, and organizations who set their sights on growth have implemented tools like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Business Intelligence solutions, and custom applications to provide experiences that are streamlined and unique to their employees and customers. This has helped them become more resilient in the face of a possible recession and even grow their business.
But what can we expect from 2023? While I wish I had a crystal ball that could give me insight into the future (it would avoid a lot of heartache during football and baseball season), no one can predict with 100 percent certainty how things will change. However, there are some signals that we’ve seen at Hammer Dev that can help guide leaders as they look to expand in the future.
Here are a few major technology trends you’ll probably see impacting just about every industry:
Increased Use of Progressive Web Applications
Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) will become a lot more widespread as organizations look for ways to create consistent experiences across the many platforms used by businesses and customers. While not a new technology, I expect PWAs will be more widespread because they can be deployed on a desktop or on a mobile platform without requiring complex backend coding or even duplicate projects to accommodate an organization’s website and mobile application. This will save significant resources on the software development side of your organization’s strategy.
Aside from saving resources for your organization, PWAs also offer gains in user experience (UX). They’re fast to load and take up little storage on customers’ phones, making them ideal for any business looking to reduce the friction for customers experiencing your brand.
Cloud Utilization and DevOps Will Expand
While PWAs can assist in cutting your operational resource needs, businesses always look for other ways to streamline their processes, and that’s where cloud computing and DevOps will play a role.
Cloud computing has been around for a number of years now, and with more organizations adopting a cloud strategy for their IT needs, I expect there will be an increasing use of DevOps strategies to increase the speed and efficacy of software development efforts. The advent of technologies like Azure and other cloud-based platforms means that an increasing amount of software will be developed natively on the cloud. Companies frequently ask me whether Hammer Dev has cloud-development experience before signing, and with so many listings for cloud engineering roles, there will be reduced utility in separating IT operations from software development.
Seeking increased flexibility will also be why organizations will look to utilize more DevOps strategies in their software development. DevOps utilizes cloud technology to assist in developing and deploying new software, but it also merges the functions of software development and IT operations within an organization. These two features enable organizations to develop, deploy, and iterate software that’s more stable, secure, and performs better while eliminating delays resulting from coordinating siloed teams. Put another way, you’ll have the software you need faster without sacrificing efficacy.
While the benefits of moving to a DevOps methodology and a cloud-based system might be clear, they’ll be increasingly necessary as every industry relies on cloud-based development to create new software for them to use. Organizations that rely on siloed methods will be too slow to adapt to the changing business landscape. By contrast, those that move to the cloud and adopt a DevOps approach to software development will be able to increase the resiliency of their organization’s IT environment while also better managing their capital expenses. Not to mention, the cloud makes spinning up environments and resources easy – too easy if you don’t have the right expertise. We consistently run into cloud environments that are not performing adequately, cost optimized, or secure because they were created by a software developer with the flick of a switch (okay, the click of a mouse). DevOps is not new, but with cloud-based development being the new normal, organization’s cannot afford to ignore it!
To find out more about the changing nature of cloud deployments in 2023, click here.
Increased use of Artificial Intelligence in Business Intelligence
Data is everywhere in the news these days: there are concerns around data security, privacy, and usage, but I’ve also seen a lot of discussion about the many ways that data could be used to improve performance, particularly around AI.
Regardless of industry, I suspect every business has a treasure trove of information about their processes and customers at their disposal. I’ve seen too many customers overlook this information because it’s hard to access and may require manual manipulation to draw any business insight out of it. This delay leads to a reduced impact. In many cases, Hammer Dev has been able to solve this issue by leveraging enterprise business intelligence concepts like Data Warehouse, Data Lake, and cloud-based BI platforms. While these concepts are not new, many middle market companies have yet to take advantage. The good news is that the tools and services required to deliver these platforms are more available and affordable than ever. As lagging businesses continue to see their peers take advantage of data to drive a competitive advantage, they too will join the party.
In addition the continued adoption of Data Warehouse and Data Lake strategies, more companies will also be leveraging AI to enhance those systems and make them more intelligent. While many business leaders may see it as the province of science fiction, AI is much more practical and attainable than they may realize. For one, most businesses are already using AI in some form even if they do not realize it (AI is “baked in” to many common solutions like spam filters, smart networking devices, voice-to-text, Siri/Alexa..). But beyond that, AI can be applied directly to your data to make your business smarter. For example, AI modules can be applied to large sets of unstructured data to drive predictive business insights around areas like consumer trends, supply and demand, and cash flow forecasting. AI is often also leveraged as way to enhance how a business may gather data – for example Document Cognition solutions can help to automate reviewing and extracting data from forms and documents. You can find out more about other ways AI will be used in business here.
Low-Code/No Code Development becoming Ubiquitous
While there’s a lot of concern around a recession, many experts are also noting how hot the labor market is right now, and that means tech talent may continue to be hard to come by. To help alleviate the pressure businesses feel on this, I expect that organizations will begin utilizing more Low-Code/No Code Solutions to help facilitate their software development objectives.
In theory, Low-Code/No Code development is a method of deploying new software without the need of a fully trained software engineer. The goal of any solution is to enable a business to tap their community of talent to achieve the development objective, but although these kinds of solutions can meet a functional need, not every solution will enable a company to truly thrive.
What I’ve seen more often is that companies deploy a Low Code/No Code solution and realize that it requires a lot more technical skill than the theory implies. As time goes on, it will get closer to enabling “citizen developers” to fulfill tasks that fully trained software developers were required to do in the past, but even if it doesn’t reach that stage in the next decade, Low Code/No Code solutions will become far more prevalent because they can be deployed faster than trying to recreate code from scratch. Many developers are utilizing Low Code/No Code solutions in platforms like Power Apps because it means they have access to a large library of components they don’t have to recreate themselves. Plus, it has benefits for organizations making the investment because they can get the software they need at a lower cost than they would pay if the engineer had to develop the software from scratch. Why reinvent the wheel if it’s unnecessary?
Microservices Architecture Will Continue Growing in Popularity
Traditionally, coding has relied on creating a monolithic architecture that requires an engineer to rebuild a website or application if anything needed to be changed or serviced. However, more and more developers are relying on a microservices architecture to deploy new interfaces because it offers increased flexibility that can adapt to the tireless advance of technology.
Microservices is an architectural strategy that’s been around for a while, but we’re seeing many customers request it (and expect that to continue into 2023). Essentially, in a microservices framework, the back-end system is made up of a series of modular functions rather than a single, unified whole. By breaking up the back end, developers are able to maintain the front-end code of an application or website while testing or revising a function on the back end. Additionally, microservices enable an organization to make smaller, incremental changes to their systems, which can improve an organization’s ability to debug or secure their system by working on individual segments of the code rather than the entire structure. This allows organizations to easily ensure the quality their application’s performance and better protect the system as a whole by securing the system at each individual module. Lastly, along with providing a more secure and higher quality environment, a microservices architecture is easier to deploy and scale because it’s often done in a serverless environment, which means new modules can be added quickly and efficiently without requiring a reworking of the entire application.
Although it helps make it easier to maintain the back end code of an application, microservices architecture can help businesses create applications that can be scaled or changed to meet the use case of their organization’s target customers. Single code bases were used heavily when desktop computers were the primary way customers and employees accessed software, but with the ubiquitous use of laptops, phones, tablets, and other devices, businesses will become reliant on dynamic software development tools that can accommodate the different use cases without requiring the management of multiple, independently running, single code applications. Microservices architectures have become popular precisely because they fulfill that need.
A new year is a new chapter in the life of a business, and many people use it to take stock of where they would like to be. Businesses should always do the same, and that’s why it’s important to set realistic resolutions that you’ll be able to see through to the end of the year.
Fundamentally, organizations will be looking to become more secure in their position as the possibility of a recession has been carried over into the new year. One of the best ways for organizations to accomplish this is to take advantage of the advances in technology, as many of Hammer Dev’s clients have done.