As bespoke becomes the new standard, custom software is of growing importance to businesses.
Digital transformation is doing more than just change the way we do business. It is also changing the way we view and approach the technology and the software itself. Ten years ago, software development concerned itself with designing tools to fulfil a purpose, whether that might be to manage client records or streamline inventory management. Today, like any form of service delivery, software development is about improving user experience at multiple points within an organisation.
A one size fits all approach is becoming less and less relevant, and the age of custom software development is upon us. How is this changing the sector, and in particular, what trends do businesses need to be aware of in this ever-evolving arena?
The ever-growing cloud
Many have hailed the cloud as the most important and transformative technological development of the era. It has certainly turned the way businesses interact with their software upside down, and today, more than 70 percent of businesses have at least one aspect of their software or infrastructure hosted on the cloud. Benefits of a cloud-based approach are unlimited, these include global availability, instant updates, limitless scalability and so on. When it comes to custom software design, taking a cloud-based approach is rapidly becoming a no-brainer, and it is a trend that every business needs to take on board to get the maximum ROI.
A customer focus
There is a growing understanding that every piece of software needs to serve a core goal of meeting the demands and needs of customers more effectively. This holistic approach to software development is a world away from the siloed mentality of the past. By dialling in to human behaviour, your business software will help create a better customer experience and thereby improve brand loyalty, reputation and ultimately deliver a healthier bottom line.
Increased specialisation and remote access using cloud tech has opened up new risks when it comes to security. In a recent report, Accenture talked about the record number of targeted data breaches in 2017, and this is something that software developers are taking to heart. In the home, there is no point having the latest five-lever lock on the front door if the back window is left wide open, and likewise, developers know that even the smallest app needs to be completely secure.
The rise of open source
10 years ago, open source was seen as a plaything for tech geeks. Today, you might be surprised to hear that 97 percent of businesses have open source software somewhere within their technology stack. This is a consequence of players like Facebook and Google taking the lead in using open source software for their own systems. It is a custom development trend that is set to grow and grow.
We are already seeing AI across a range of software applications, from customer chatbots to back room data analytics. But this is just the beginning. AI will have an even more important role in the months and years to come, particularly in terms of customer interactions. Custom software applications must be capable of working alongside AI algorithms in order to remain relevant.