Business leaders have been forced to shift their focus away from post-pandemic growth and instead manage the threat of recession, the impact of persistent inflation, and the various crises in supply chains, energy sourcing, and the software development industry – quite suddenly. In this uncertain climate, organizations must identify and commit to strategic objectives and initiatives, such as cost savings, margin improvement, rapid growth, or the adoption of new business models. Technology and software development companies are an essential component of this process. In this article, we offer an overview of the top software development trends business leaders should watch this year regardless of their business goals.
Trend 1: AI becomes mainstream
By the end of 2022, powerful artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney have surprised us with their creative potential. Emergence of such tools is slowly changing the debate about AI and software development alike. While it was previously focused mainly on the reassurance that technology does not pose any risk to creative work of artists, musicians, writers and even programmers, the global community is beginning to notice those risks. In a Forbes article, author Nelson Granados warns that overuse of AI can kill creativity and diversity of thought.
At the same time, AI tools like Copilot leverage artificial intelligence to speed up software development for programmers, while tools like Orchard help deliver texts in diverse styles, targeted at a variety of audiences – the creators promise to help writers ideate, iterate and innovate. We are certainly going to observe increasingly creative applications of AI in the years to come. The question is: when will we have enough of it?
Trend 2: Maximizing development efficiency
The focus on speeding up software delivery and improving developers’ experience isn’t new, but we’re going to observe further maximization efforts as a software development trend in the coming years. According to Gartner, 80% of software engineering organizations will establish platform teams as internal providers of reusable services, components and tools for application delivery by 2026. This means software developers will increasingly be able to rely on ready-to-use components offered by businesses, in addition to open-source software. AdminJS is a good example of such a reusable component – it can be easily used to create admin dashboards for virtually any software tool.
Overall, the focus on creating more and better reusable software development components will allow startup companies and innovators to receive market feedback faster than ever before. Enterprises should be focused on creating their own development platforms internally instead of looking into purchasing from vendors, as such they won’t cover all of their specific needs.
Writing code will soon become obsolete. We’ll increasingly be seeing developers train artificial intelligence and benefit from no code development process and low code platforms to produce software. These will also be used by citizen developers without programming skills. We are likely entering a new era in computer science in which developers will become teachers occupied primarily with training algorithms.
Trend 3: Proliferation of Industry Cloud Platforms
What do Industry Cloud Platforms bring to the table? They turn cloud computing into business platforms that offer a variety of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS relevant to a specific industry segment within the platform, where they would typically be purchased elsewhere. Industry Cloud Platforms are more flexible and relevant, and help businesses to adapt their processes and software applications faster. In accordance with this software development trend, automotive cloud services or cloud banking solutions are already available on the market from various providers.
A recent Gartner survey conducted among North American and European enterprises indicated that almost 40% of respondents have already begun utilizing industry cloud platforms, with another 15% in the pilot stage. 15% of those who haven’t adopted it yet are considering doing so by 2026. Gartner further predicts that by 2027, enterprises will make use of industry cloud platforms to accelerate more than 50% of their critical business initiatives, compared to less than 10% in 2021, which is a great promise for the software development industry.
Trend 4: Greater resilience with digital immunity
With increased risk of cybercrime, it is necessary to constantly develop methods of securing systems and their users. Businesses will continue to employ increasingly innovative ways to become more digitally resilient and these efforts can be observed among the latest software development trends. Cyber immunity is realized through a more comprehensive approach to cybersecurity that combines observability, AI-enhanced testing, machine learning, chaos engineering, autoremediation, site reliability engineering, and software supply chain security, all of which are used to boost the resilience of products, services, and systems.
In the area of authentication, biometric methods are already becoming a standard, enabled by the increasing presence of biometric readers on mobile devices. Following the latest software development trends, industry leaders Apple, Google and Microsoft have finally agreed to introduce passkeys into browsers. Maybe, just maybe, we might soon see the era of passwords eventually come to an end.
Trend 5: Real-time observability
Businesses collect unprecedented amounts of data and have already learned to use it to their advantage – big data analytics as well as Business Intelligence practices are being widely employed in decision-making across all industries. These are excellent practices, but require a lot of preparation and analysis time. The latest trends in software development show that businesses are learning to use observable data to further reduce time from action to reaction and to make future prognosis.
Tesla, for instance, offers insurance packages to owners of their vehicles in selected American states that take into account the individual’s real-time driving behavior. Another good example is Versabox - a producer of autonomous industrial robots that can cooperate with workers and forklifts inside warehouses, driving the new generation of intralogistics processes.
The focus on maximizing value from observable data also means businesses will be able to benefit from expanding capabilities of wireless devices. Bosch-Siemens, for example, is already using ultrasonic sensors to reduce forklift collision rates in industrial spaces.
Trend 6: Sustainable technology
Last but not least, we are currently observing a growing consciousness about the dark sides of technological advancement beyond the software development industry. In itself, this understanding isn’t anything new – the debate about harmful effects of technology already started a few years back (take a look at this Business Insider article, for instance). It’s a very broad topic that spans across environmental impact of tech, through psychological risks, to how it affects our social, educational and work life. Articles on digital detox remind us about these dark sides and advice on how we can deal with some of them, especially in relation to our own health.
Amid this growing consciousness, organizations of all sizes as well as the software development industry will have to increasingly think about incorporating the ESG (Environmental, Social, Corporate Governance) framework into their operations as well as software solutions. The sustainable approach to tech is oriented at enhancing IT services by increasing energy and material efficiency, promoting enterprise sustainability through traceability, analytics, and renewable energy, and helping customers become more eco-friendly through applications, software, and marketplaces. Organizations will have to start measuring their performance accordingly.
Top software development trends 2023
We’ve identified six latest software development trends that will be relevant in 2023 and the years to come. Businesses will be focusing on applying innovation to maximize productivity as well as efficiency of security mechanisms and software development process itself. Artificial intelligence becoming more mainstream as well as sustainability goals will provide the overarching context for software development in the near future. We are also becoming oriented at holding greater accountability of technology and its impact on our environment and ourselves. Software developers should keep this in mind in their upcoming innovative endeavors.