Top Trends in Software Development and Outsourcing for 2022
‘Information technology and business are being inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other’.
It has been some time that Bill Gates had quoted these words, but these hold true for companies looking to thrive in 2022. Understandably, the information technology and the software landscape have also changed, and the pandemic has only accelerated the decade-long transition to digitalization. Companies today understand the increasing importance software plays in their internal operations or offering a seamless customer experience.
Software and product engineering outsourcing have also gained momentum with more companies looking to outsource technology and software development for cost and strategic reasons. There is a considerable investment in automation of repetitive processes, providing multichannel customer experience, a stronger focus on privacy, and greater adoption of emerging technologies across all industries. When building a digital solution, business managers must be well-informed on where the industry is heading and strategize accordingly.
Through the course of this blog, we will attempt to decode some of the key trends in software development and product engineering outsourcing which managers and executives need to be aware of.
The shift in outsourcing relations - From vendors to strategic partners in digital transformation
Today, software outsourcing has become one of the most fundamental services of companies from Asian countries. With countless benefits, from cost reduction, access to top tech talents, and high production speed, this service has turned into an inseparable part of the client’s working routine. As a result, the outsourcing vendors’ role in the high-tech field has gradually shifted from simple providing development to top-level decisions on many important issues such as software architecture or full-cycle product development.
With such entrustment, software outsourcing companies are no longer considered ‘agencies for developers hiring’. From an IT talent connector, many vendors have turned into strategic partners for companies of all sizes, aiming at long-term partnerships, shared risks, and business alignment.
This new trend of collaborative partnership is much more human-oriented. It focuses on cooperation and implementation quality, the process simplification but not the price. With such a strategic vision to help the reliable partner understand well their client’s processes, you can believe in the higher quality of the final product.
Business process automation taking the center stage
In 2022, companies, governments, and other organizations have put in place systems to automate tasks and processes: systems for enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and HR; product and customer databases. Now, these systems are becoming interconnected through common standards for exchanging data and representing business processes with layers of automation built in to weed out any inefficiencies. All this information exchange can now be combined in new ways to automate an increasing array of broader activities — from inventory management to customer service.
With a significantly large number of companies still relying on paper-based processes or Excel spreadsheets, companies still have substantial headroom to automate many repetitive tasks that aren’t yet mediated by computers —particularly in sectors where technology adoption marches at a slower pace. Companies today understand that automation is a good investment as it not only lowers costs but also helps users to get what they want more quickly and easily.
2022 would continue to see companies looking to digitally transform and streamlining operations using process automation would inevitably be a good starting point to enable this transition.
The rise and rise of no-code and low-code development platforms
In 2022, no-code development platforms will continue to take the center stage, with companies looking to democratize software development. More companies would be looking to join the bandwagon and encourage citizen developers to fast-track their digital transformation initiatives. Accelerated by the effects of the ongoing pandemic, there has been significant adoption across companies of various industries and sectors, so much so that some of the fiercest skeptics acknowledge that the no-code has perhaps matured at the right time. Recent industry reports go on to reinforce the impetus that the pandemic, fueled by the skeletal workforce and the acceleration of digital transformation, has provided to companies looking to adopt the no-code revolution.
Industry experts have also explained the reasons behind the meteoric rise behind the adoption of no-code platforms. The report outlines how the average enterprise stack has never been more complex and the need to build a digitally connected business has never been greater. Internal teams build disproportionate amounts of time building and maintaining internal tools and managing the compounding technical debt. Recent research shows that a whopping 72% of IT leaders' project backlogs prevent them from undertaking strategic projects, while 6 out of 10 CIO’s are expecting skills shortages from allowing organizations to keep pace with time.
All these recent trends indicate why the no-code platforms have seen an exponential rise last quarter. This revolution is fast bridging the digital divide and empowering IT teams and citizen developers with the tools they need to fast-track their digital transformation journey and we expect the trend to continue well into 2022.
The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) — Optimized stacks
After years of evolution, AI and ML are finally at a stage where they could have a considerable impact on the industry today. Consider, for instance, how AI helps utilities forecast electricity demand, or how it allows automakers to create self-driving cars. Various developments are encouraging this new wave of AI, including increased computation power and the availability of more sophisticated algorithms and models. Perhaps most important, data volume is exploding, with network devices collecting billions of gigabytes every day.
AI has various subsets including machine control, machine learning, deep learning, and the neural network that have individually grown exponentially in the last couple of years. We have seen the rising trend in the development of apps and websites is the AI-based chatbot. AI chatbots have replaced human assistance and customer service and have been successful in reducing human involvement in almost everything thus making it less prone to errors.
2022 will bring more programming languages, development skills, sophisticated machine learning algorithms, chatbots, accurate customer preferences, customer behavior analysis, and lesser human resource engagement. AI will attempt to make every task automatic with reliability and speed. Market research firm Tractica, the global AI software market is expected to experience revenues increasing from around 9.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 to an expected 118.6 billion by 2025. These suggest that AI or ML optimized stacks aren’t just a ‘trend’ anymore, in fact, it is a dominant force in the technological world of today. AI has reached healthcare, finance, education, transportation with augmented analytics, automated testing, automated code generation, and automated solution development and this is a trend we anticipate would only accelerate in 2022.
The growth of the Progressive Web Applications (PWAs)
As far as mobile is concerned, native apps deliver the best user experience and performance. However, developing native apps can cost you significantly since you will need to develop apps for Android and iOS separately. You also need to factor in the long-term maintenance cost for two different codebases. ‘Progressive Web Apps’ (PWAs) are web apps; however, they deliver user experience partly like native mobile apps. They are responsive, speedy, and secure, moreover, they can work offline.
You can install a PWA on the home screen, furthermore, a PWA can support push notifications. Users do not need to search for PWAs in app stores, and they can find them on the web. PWAs are linkable, moreover, they are always up to date. While PWAs fall short of the native app user experience, developing them can be a good option if the development budget is your priority. There is only one codebase to develop and maintain, therefore, PWAs are less costly. In 2022, expect several businesses to use PWA’s to engage with their customers.
Cloud adoption: The end of on-premise infrastructure
Over the last decade or so, businesses have realized the growing need for business availability, data recovery, and high accessibility. The on-premise infrastructure deals only with on-site infrastructure, so this restriction has forced many companies and entities to move to cloud alternatives.
Not only this but with newer technology coming in like “distributed cloud”, the need for this technology is going to rise even more. With this, there will be more clouds in the future in many locations. This would make it easier for them to access vast amounts of data. Now you know why this is going to be the top trend in the next few years; so, we predict this trend to only accelerate in 2022.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) - More than just hype
Companies have been using RPA technologies to help with improving the repetitive manual works for some time now. Reducing operation costs, improved work coordination, and fewer manual mistakes are just a few advantages of RPA technology that is trending. Virtual assistants and bots are just the tip of the iceberg to share the burden of repetitive actions from humans.
In 2022, bots and the RPA technology, in general, would continue to become smarter and more mainstream as more and more companies attempt to automate operations.
Cybersecurity continues to be increasingly important
Cybersecurity continues to be a top C-suite and board-level priority. Across all industries, attacks are growing in number and complexity, with 80 percent of technology executives reporting that their organizations are struggling to mount a solid defense. For all enterprises, data has long become the most valuable resource, thus making cybersecurity the ultimate priority for all IT services, including outsourcing software development.
As reported on UN Cyber Crime on Rise During Pandemic, the UN reported about “a 600% increase in malicious emails during the current crisis”. It is the growing digital dependency that increases businesses’ vulnerability to cyberattacks, as every 39 seconds, one cyber-attack takes place around the world — analyzed by the UN in the same report. So, in 2022 the demand is making the data well-secured to not become the victims of a cyberattack.
Quality takes over from price as the first priority in the software outsourcing
The outsourcing of software resulted in lower costs, greater access to highly skilled labor, and a headcount reduction. Companies look at more than just cost when choosing a software outsourcing partner these days, as talent across geographies is on the rise. Going into 2022, customers in the IT outsourcing industry would be less price-oriented. It is undeniable that companies with more reasonable prices are still preferred. However, cost reduction no longer plays a decisive factor when choosing a software service vendor.
Instead, companies nowadays tend to look for certain IT outsourcing companies which can provide trust, long-term partnership, and add value to their organization. In the end, the most important thing is the quality of the deliverables. This requires more integration from the IT company to the services of their clients.
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Xamun was created by the same team behind BlastAsia. Established in 2001, BlastAsia is one of the largest software product engineering companies in the Philippines and is a Microsoft Gold Partner for Application Development and Cloud Platform.