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Top 5 Software Development Trends That Tech Leaders Can’t Ignore in 2021

As we have embarked upon 2021, it is once again time to discuss the latest trends for this year. This past year, the global crisis put massive pressure on custom software development services to embrace a new way of working. While many businesses adapted their software development, others struggled to attune. As we look forward, the acceleration of software development as many companies know it is set to continue and intensify.

This blog outlines the key trends for custom software development services that will shape the market for 2021.

Cloud Services for A Future Fit Technology Strategy

Cloud services are, and will continue to be, an integral part of every company's tech portfolio. The challenge with cloud services for custom software development services lies in the confusing definitions, unending intricate scenarios, and epic migration needs – all of which creates complexity to know the best strategy for your firm.

This past year, a survey by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBR-AS) found that pre-pandemic cloud practices were not sufficient for organizations' current and future challenges. Companies are rethinking their cloud initiatives, and increasingly vouching for moving to the cloud.

For instance, American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Moderna has delivered its first clinical batch for phase one trial only 42 days after the initial sequencing. To achieve this, the company took help of cloud-based technologies and methods to experiment rapidly and easily shift between vaccines. It also utilizes cloud services to accomplish higher accuracy across inventory management, accounting, and manufacturing which is significant for a faster and dynamic scaling of vaccine production.

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In addition to digital cloud services, security remains a fundamental priority when reshaping processes and embracing new technologies. Brands are continuing to shift to complex cloud environments. 41% or more of the organizations are running their business in a public cloud. This will definitely drive the need for security tools to improve the cloud security.

Containers and Microservices Are Powering Enterprise Transformation

Another prominent custom software development services trend to look out for is the increased adoption of containers and microservices that are powered by Kubernetes. Software containers and microservices continue to improve enterprise infrastructure efficacy, strategic functionality, software development, and cloud-native project — especially in the global pandemic, when faster adaptability is the answer to business survival.


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Statista says 54% of the tech leaders has utilized container technology in 2020 in developing or testing. Kubernetes is a great tool to manage containers and developing microservices architecture. The reason behind its popularity is now more projects need 24/7 availability, scalability, and security.

Some of the most popular microservices and containerization trends that we will see reshaping the development world -

  • Kubernetes - It is an open-source, portable system or Container-As-A-Service platform. Kubernetes manages the whole containerized services to consist automating application scaling, management, and deployment. It enables developers to organize the storage system automatically and delivers interactive rollouts and rollbacks.

  • Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) - CI is referred to the practice where developers in the team combine the changes they make into a shared repository. These modifications, verified by automated testing, prompt new builds to assure there is no issue in the functionality. CD is used as a term for an automation process of launching a fully functional build into production.

  • Server-less Architecture - A server-less architecture is a kind of a Functions-as-a-Service platform. It is a concept where developers don't need to emphasis on server management anymore. Here the service provider fully handles the accountability of dynamic management of server provisioning and allocation. A synergy of server-less architecture and microservices is the perfect cloud-native development and delivery environment.

Internet of Things (IoT) Delivers Operational Excellence

Internet of Things (IoT) has come a long way, from a simple mobile device connected to a vehicle, all is attached with sensors that allow the device to gather data. IoT has been an integral part of our everyday life. By combining it with AI and Big Data, it can bring dynamic developments to an organization’s software strategy.

Due to the pandemic, the adoption of tech-driven healthcare has been accelerated and this is indicating towards an increase in virtual visit numbers as well. One more example is the Google Assistant that is already serving between humans and the large network of interlinked devices for a very long period of time.

For example, internet-of-things (IoT) solutions can improve enterprise operational efficiency across vertical markets by focusing on generic functions but are also highly specialized for verticals. IoT-enabled devices consume less power, processing, memory, and size, when compared to desktops and mobile devices.

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The main driver of the growing interest in IoT is also the increased cost-efficiency of operations. Currently, 54% of the enterprises engaged with IoT projects are focusing on decreasing their operational cost. Thus, the variety of IoT applications will only increase, since the IoT application development provides a full control over the features in various devices. For example, a custom mobile app which is built with IoT has flexible accessibility that enables anyone to have access on interconnected physical object from anywhere.

Augmented Reality: Not A Trend Anymore!

People were anticipating AR is going to be one of the biggest successes in 2021, and here we are! AR has evolved in the past decade from being an unsteady gimmick to a great way for consumers to experience products and services before they purchase them. For instance, Apple’s ARKit 4, the latest version of augmented reality (AR) app development for iOS devices, comes with new-found capabilities and improved face tracking for more devices. It has introduced a Depth API to create a brand-new way to receive depth information and maximizes the scene understanding capabilities.

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Now that AR is on the rise, product-driven industries like ecommerce has adopting AR to change their online selling game. AR enables ecommerce consumers to preview the products or services in their own convenience, before buying it. Using AR, customers can now see the products that helps them to choose the right one. Some of the ways that ecommerce brands are using AR –

  • Interactive User Manuals - Nowadays use guides have become a lot more interactive and smarter. Ecommerce brands are producing more interactive user guides that generally runs on their website or app. These are helpful for customers to better understand their products or services. Any interactive user manual adheres to user actions, giving on-page contextual support while using a website, application, or software. Simply type your questions into the chat box and you will receive the answer. For example, Ask Mercedes uses AR to let their customers discover the capabilities of numerous operating elements in a fun way.

  • Social Media Filters - Over the years there has been a spike in the number of companies jumping on AR bandwagon. If you've been on Snapchat or Instagram lately, you have used an AR filter, probably. But why brands are using these? Well, there are some of the key advantages -

    • AR filters are increasing better engagement.

    • Using AR filters is a great way to spotlight your new offering by telling people just to "Try it on".

    Back in 2017, Ben & Jerry’s created an interactive Facebook AR filter game to launch their new ice-cream flavor. This complex filter takes more work, yet it is very engaging and entertaining.

  • Preview Placement - It is quite common to buy the wrong item while shopping online. For instance, you might get a sofa set and realize that it isn't going with the rest of your room décor. This is where preview placement can be helpful through giving a real-time glance at the product and how it will look like when you place it at their environment. Recently, Sony has launched Envision TV AR app that helps in previewing how the Sony TV would look like on the wall. Users can also decide which TV size would be perfect for their space.

  • Virtual Try-On Solutions - Not every retailer can provide you a try-on facility at home but thanks to virtual try-on that is trying to close the gap. AR is helpful for online shopping as it helps to understand more about the product, such as clothing and how precisely that will look on the customer. Take example of Augmented Reality in fashion retail industry. Brands like Converse, Uniqlo, and Sephora are utilizing it by creating AR infused apps that allows people for product try-on from their smartphone. The customer can choose other colors to see several variations.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) 2.0: Evolve with the Next-Gen AI Advances

We live in an economy where data is changing how brands create value. A report by PwC states that artificial intelligence (AI) has the power to reshape the ways of doing business and its potential contribution can be up to $15.7 trillion by 2030.

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Here's a few ways AI will expand itself -

  • Machine Learning development will be increasingly automated

  • Workplaces will make even more use of AI

  • AI tools will develop a friendlier face

Most companies have recognized the fact that AI has the tremendous potential to transform how companies work. For example, they can imagine a future where retailers send over personalized products before the consumer even requests for them! This may sound like science fiction, but AI can make it very much possible. Similarly, AI will influence the way software application are being developed. 80% of the companies are investing in AI currently and it is said that AI tools will create at least $2.9 trillion in business ROI by 2021.

AI has a vital role in the code generation and testing of software. It has a wide range of tools and techniques to automate particular processes to have minimal human intervention. For instance, Natural language processing, a technique of AI is capable of making machines understand about the user requirements in natural language.

AI enabled tools can automate the complex software design process. For instance, AIDA (Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant) can help designers to understand the client requirements easily and implement that to design the perfect product. It also examines several combinations of software design and showcases the proper customized design as per the client’s desire.

Final Thoughts

These key trends are already on their way to enter commercial products and services sector. Forward-looking enterprises need to start preparing if they want to enjoy their competitive advantages. Tech leaders must understand this next generation of software tools and how to start on their journey.

Schedule a discussion to know how to harness the top software to deliver on your future fit technology strategy. At Icreon, we are a custom software development company, built for companies to get to what’s next, first. 


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