More than perhaps any other industry, the world of software isn’t one that stands still. Designers need to stay on top of the latest trends or risk losing out to more nimble competitors. Trends toward mobile computing, the cloud, and the Internet of Things have all had an influence on the software market, and the rate of change shows no sign of slowing down.
One of the major trends in software design over the past couple of years has been the shift towards DevOps. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, DevOps is a methodology that aids collaboration and communication between IT professionals while automating the process of delivering software and infrastructure. As enterprises focus on integrating their IT functions and moving more of their systems to the cloud, the trend for DevOps adoption can only increase.
DevOps isn’t just about software; it’s about developing a strong inter-departmental culture within the organisation. This may require a shift in the way the way the business works, getting business units and developers to work more closely together.
Moving to mobile
The power of modern smartphones and tablet devices has seen a significant shift away from desktop computers. For many people, a phone is now their primary computing device, and it’s also sparked a change in the workplace with corporate data being available from anywhere via mobile devices and the cloud.
This leads to a number of challenges for developers. Increasingly, software needs to be flexible enough to operate across numerous devices. It has to look good and be accessible on both large and small screens. This overlaps to an extent with accessibility issues, making software usable by people with disabilities.
The cloud is an important factor in this trend, too. Not only is data now likely to be stored in remote locations, which makes file sharing easier, but applications are increasingly likely to be accessed from the cloud on an as-a-service model. This again presents developers with challenges surrounding scalability and catering for a spread of diverse devices.
Security and privacy
Data breaches are increasingly in the headlines, and that puts additional focus on companies to ensure that their systems are safe and secure. Consumer demand for data to be properly safeguarded can only increase, and that is going to place increased demands on the software industry.
Security and privacy need to be designed into new applications from the outset. However, traditional security, such as the use of password authentication, is starting to reveal its shortcomings. Software designers will need to embrace new protection features like biometrics and behavioural analysis in order to ensure that systems keep sensitive information private, yet still easy to access for the right people.
The world of the software designer never stands still, and new challenges will undoubtedly emerge in coming years that we haven’t yet considered. The one thing that is certain is that designers can’t afford to rest on their laurels; they need to keep abreast of the latest trends if they want to succeed!