The insane 2020, which significantly impacted all spheres of life, including software development, is finally coming to an end. Looking ahead, it’s hard to say what surprises are waiting for us. But we can analyze some significant software development trends that have shaped the industry in 2020 and will continue to influence it in 2021.
A Primarily Digital World
The global COVID-19 pandemic has become an inflection point for many businesses. Unprecedented strict regulations imposing social distancing and lockdown hit both small and large enterprises: they were forced to quickly reorganize working processes and develop new approaches, with many struggling to stay afloat.
Once businesses faced these never-before-seen challenges, they quickly realized that they needed to move toward a primarily digital world, where digital solutions will largely determine the way of life.
Today, we witness the acceleration of IT priorities and technology roadmaps across enterprises.
In the research by Accelerated Strategies Group, Inc., 63.3% of business respondents noted that they have accelerated digital transformation as a priority for their company. Their primary focus now is on:
- contactless services (60.1%)
- cloud migration (52.25%)
- DevOps activities (51.75%).
Digital solutions will determine the creation of sustainable and adaptable businesses. Hence, software developers and IT specialists will play a critical role in building the post-pandemic world. That is why the scope of software engineering is very high in the world.
The Growth of the IT Sector
Though the IT industry was in a better position than other industries when the pandemic hit, it wasn’t able to avoid spending cutbacks, delayed projects, and staffing reduction.
- Global IT spending declined by 5.4% in 2020. (Gartner)
- In 2021, worldwide IT spending is expected to grow by 4%, but it will still not exceed the numbers before the pandemic.
- According to IDC, the industry’s global revenue in 2020 is $4.8 trillion, substantially less than its initial estimate of $5.2 trillion.
- In 2021, IDC expects a growth of 4.2%, meaning the IT industry can reach $5 trillion in revenue.
- The enterprise software development segment will grow by 7.2% in 2021, which will be the most substantial rebound compared with other segments such as devices, data center systems, and IT and communication services. (TechRepublic)
The IT sector is currently recovering and will return to the growth trend line in 2021. It is forecast to restore and exceed its pre-pandemic position by 2024, with an estimated 5% CAGR.
The future of software development in the context of remote work seems promising. In the spring of 2020, IT companies worldwide had to quickly establish new patterns of team management, communication, and collaboration, so that employees could perform their duties without coming into a physical office.
For many, the shift from onsite to remote work was a scary task. Today, it seems to have become the new normal, with many of those companies taking a favorable attitude toward working remotely. Take a look at the research results that show how working from home has influenced software team productivity.
- 59% of respondents said their software teams increased their productivity while working remotely.
- For 42.6% of respondents, it has become easier to meet task deadlines.
- 64% of respondents plan to work remotely 3+ days per week.
The trend of doing business through online meetings, digital collaboration tools, and cloud applications will go on through 2021.
Cloud Services Gain Momentum
In order to facilitate remote work, companies had to implement appropriate infrastructure and support employees in creating a work environment in their home offices. As a result, the demand for cloud services and tools has grown.
According to Gartner, unlike global IT spending, which went down in 2020, cloud spending has grown by 6.3%. Total revenue is close to $258 billion, which is $15 billion up from the previous year. Over the next few years, the cloud computing market is expected to double.
- 74% of business respondents expect their cloud spending to increase in 2021. (Statista)
- SaaS solutions, taking the largest part of the public cloud market, are predicted to generate $120 billion, which is $15 billion more than in 2020.
- IaaS solutions will grow from $50 billion in 2020 to $64 billion in 2021.
- In 2021, the platform as a service (PaaS) market is forecast to exceed $55 billion, from an estimated $43.8 billion in 2020.
According to ilmibook survey, the apparent trend is that software development companies will more actively use SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS solutions to build apps, manage teams and communicate, as these services can be easily adopted and rolled out. Cloud solutions provide flexibility and improve productivity.