Here’s the thing. Businesses need to learn, grow, adapt, and do their best to see what’s coming at them. Your customers change. Your market changes. The way developers like Ping! Development build applications changes. As we look forward to new opportunities in 2019, we see that the year and the expected changes are not in a vacuum. They’ve been in the works for years. Keeping an eye on these trends is part of how we deliver a great solution for our clients. So, what do we see coming in 2019?
2019 Brings New Opportunities for Users, Businesses and Developers:
- Software Users: Users will have more choices, and that's going to put pressure on software providers and businesses to make sure their software delivers the best value. With more options available, software needs to keep users engaged and deliver an amazing experience.
- Businesses: In 2019, businesses will be able to do more with less because of their software applications. In larger companies, teams will be more project focused. Therefore, businesses will need to focus on good Quality Assurance and Testing with their applications.
- Developers: Software developers will need more of the "stack". It's no longer reasonable for a developer, particularly one at a small company, to work only on back-end development. Developers need to know back-end code, front-end layout and have an understanding of user interface/user experience (UI/UX), including front-end code to manage dynamic experiences.
Our 2019 Software Predictions and Observations
- Cyber-Security: The technology that will have the biggest impact on software development is cyber-security. With all of the bad-news headlines in data breaches and email hacking, the solutions ecosystem around cyber-security will expand in 2019. We also expect expanded regulation, following on the heels of GDPR (What Is GDPR?).
- Staying Current: Business owners need to update applications and their platforms regularly. Outdated software, which can mean one small component that becomes outdated, creates security vulnerabilities and potential bugs and glitches that can kill the user experience. Maintenance plans to stay on top of this will be big in 2019.
- Machine Learning and AI: Machine learning has been on the horizon for a while. These are algorithms that determine the likelihood of something occurring (i.e. a contact in a CRM converting based on different benchmarks). They offer better delivery of services based on prediction from past behaviors. Companies like Amazon and Google are driving this (literally), and software in 2019 will incorporate more and more intelligence, allowing users to use their time more wisely and with better returns for their companies.
- Blockchain: Blockchain is finding its way into more industries and will continue to expand in 2019. For example, we've seen a startup securing real estate transactions using blockchain technology. Our own clients are bringing this technology up in design meetings, as a way to validate licensing contracts, for example. Full adoption might still be a year or more out, but we’ll see more and more use of blockchain technology in 2019 applications.
- Natural Language Processing: With mobile use continuing to grow over the desktop, applications in 2019 will use more natural language processing. As Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa become more mainstream, users are getting more and more comfortable with voice input. Natural language processing may not take over in the web browser right away, but businesses need to be prepared for this to eventually expand this functionality from mobile apps to the browser.
- Connected Apps: 2019 will be a big year for connected apps, for tying together separate applications into an integrated solution. Smaller, highly-specialized applications entered the software market in force over the past few years, and we’ll see those playing along with the larger solutions and even integrating together to become the solution. It presents a challenge, as there are more parts that can break. However, well-built applications that integrate seamlessly will deliver real benefits and will be a big part of solutions in 2019. Additionally, companies like Zapier are creating an ecosystem for developers to create new revenue streams with software that can be bolted right on to existing solutions. That will drive some new, and possibly disruptive, applications this year. Look for some of these from Ping! Development, coming soon.
The year ahead brings exciting opportunities for custom software development and the value created for our clients. While users have more, competitive choices in 2019, we also see emerging technologies such as machine learning, blockchain, natural language processing and connected apps as opportunities to maintain your edge and build loyalty into your application.
Not sure where your business should be headed with its technology this year? Contact us, and let’s do a software review and put together your short and long-term software plans.