3 ways software development will evolve in 2020

21 Jan 2020

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Forrester research director Chris Mines offers three predictions for software development in the coming year.

The world of software development is set for some big changes in 2020.

At Forrester, we predict that service mesh, Kubernetes, AI-infused applications and low-code products will continue their upward swing in enterprise adoption.

Organisationally, developers will continue to spread out from central IT departments. Business developers are proliferating as companies increasingly deploy software in service of customer obsession.

In brief, here are three of our predictions for software development in the coming year.

1. One-third of developers will work outside central IT

More developers will work outside of central IT organisations as companies continue to make deploying software a crucial part of their business model.

In 2019, 24pc of developers working on internal software tech said they report to a business unit outside of CIO or IT departments. With the increased use of low–code tools that enable business users to build apps and product-centric teams, we predict this proportion will reach one in three by the end of 2020.

2. AD&D will choose from the big five cloud vendors

Enterprise development teams will consolidate their cloud platform choices as Kubernetes adoption proliferates.

Application development and delivery (AD&D) leaders will select one of the big five cloud vendors – Amazon, Google, IBM (plus Red Hat), Microsoft and VMware (plus Pivotal) – for their complex Kubernetes-generation platforms, while Alibaba, Oracle, Salesforce and SAP struggle to gain traction in cloud-native development.

3. Majority of developers will engage low-code products

In 2019, 37pc of developers in Forrester’s worldwide survey were using or planning to use low-code products. By mid-2020, we predict that this number will rise to more than half of developers, thanks in part to a renewed push by Microsoft for its PowerApps, Flow, Power BI, and Power Platform products.

Microsoft’s ‘free’ and ‘good enough’ products will be adopted both in straightforward and sophisticated use cases and serve as catalysts for further growth – and consolidation – in the low-code market.

By Chris Mines

As an SVP and research director at Forrester, Chris Mines leads a team of analysts focused on the future of software development. His team’s research and advisory work identify the platforms, tools, methodologies and skills that help companies put modern software at the centre of their business.

Download Forrester’s Predictions 2020 guide for more information on the major dynamics that will impact firms this year.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Forrester blog.