The Rise of Developer-Led Innovation and Evolution in 2021

Subrato Bandhu, Regional Vice President, OutSystems | Wednesday, 10 February 2021, 06:18 IST

Subrato2021 will see more technical collaboration between business and IT, with more diverse and open-minded developers being key in driving the next wave of business innovation.

COVID 19 has impacted millions of businesses all over the world, including India causing hindrance not just in organisational growth but also flexibility and scalability. From companies scrambling to maintain business continuity to entire industries, having to rethink ways to how they can survive in this new normal, we had to learn the hard way that inflexibility and inadaptability effectively spelt an organisation’s extinction. Today, the future of learning, e-classrooms and hospitality is very different from what it was pre pandemic. The major trends we are seeing in India, as a result of the pandemic, are greater demand for both IT services as businesses shift to remote working, as well as a greater focus on AI, ML and automation in healthcare, BFSI, hospitality, retail etc. to leverage them in the most efficient ways to support business growth.

There is a lot of potential and marvels we can accomplish even in the face of adversity, with a year gone full of setbacks met and hardship faced. Most prominent, especially in the technology space, where developers proved to be the unsung heroes in stepping up to create innovative solutions and navigate the digital world alongside business leaders.

COVID related business conditions will not last forever and when the fight to the top begins in full force in 2021, companies will have to ensure they are well-equipped to dominate the digital arena. The conversation has moved to ‘must have’ instead of ‘good to have’ now. This situation has increased spending in tech and digital transformation deals went up 30% as per a Nasscom and McKinsey report. The report also cites that tech natives and digital reinventors with revenue over $3 billion have driven 65% of the $ 6 trillion growth in market capitalization between January to July 2020.

To stay ahead of the curve when the game changes, you need to rewrite the rules altogether. The “old normal” is now history; from the tools we use to the way we think, the time is now to stop revisiting the past and start facing the future, beginning with analysing 2021 trends to future-proof your organisation.

2021 Industry Predictions

  1. A new category of platforms will emerge as companies hit the limits of over-hyped no/low-code platforms

While companies flocked to a dizzying array of no- and low-code tools to meet development needs amid the uncertainties of 2020, they will quickly realize the limits of these platforms, and as a result will seek out more advanced platforms that go beyond to enable their development teams in new ways. No- and low-code platforms are fine for building white labeled, minimally capable applications. When those apps become mission-critical, or when a new app outside of the narrow domain of that tool is required, they hit a wall and become obsolete. We’ll start to see companies ditch the less mature platforms they adopted as a bandaid in a moment of panic and pursue far more capable modern application platforms that enable any type of application to be built and allow them to not only build quickly but build to the scale, security, and differentiation they need for inevitable future change.

  1. Developer mentality will undergo a dramatic shift, from how it’s built, to what is built

Traditionally, developers have been heavily invested in how software is built - with near religious devotion to their preferred procedural language and ‘stack’. This unreasonable fervor will diminish as the number of problems that can only be solved with software dramatically increases and more development projects require business and IT to work together more closely than ever before. Developers are shifting their mindset to focus on delivering mission-critical solutions – regardless of how they’re made. They will open-up to new approaches, such as embracing AI-powered automation that leads to less friction, errors, and technical debt. Developers will ditch the dogma and embrace alternatives as they realize the outcome is the only thing that’s important.

  1. AI will deliver productivity for all types of developers

AI’s role in the future of application development has always been tantalizingly controversial, with a storm of opinions gracing many a conversation about its potential. But it is becoming very clear: AI has the power to create far more possibilities than it limits. This year, AI-backed development will raise the bar yet again with increasingly strategic and innovative uses. Usable by both professional developers and amateurs alike to amp up their productivity, AI delivers heightened acceleration and accuracy in application building, and will prove to boost innovation and creativity rather than hinder it. The world, currently at its peak in software augmentation and automation, is undergoing a paradigm shift and developers will soon come to see that AI is an essential tool to have in their kit, one that allows them to push the creative boundaries of their jobs and innovate.

While we may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic, the constant need to innovate and seize the lead was already triggered months ago, in the heat of the crisis. Keeping in mind the huge size and demography of a country like India, it is still a long process that needs to be covered. However, even industries like education, healthcare, retail that were not always the leaders in technological adoption are now looking to review how they operate and accelerate their stability in the new normal. We will see more developers harnessing greater market opportunities and more business leaders strategically thinking about the potential of empowered developers for technical development – with focus on innovation and strategy, organisations can daringly face the next challenges the new year will bring.

Application developers based in India are taking center stage -growing at the rate of 15% YoY. India is a global hub for application development driving digital Transformation for the world’s enterprises.  While the global enterprises are driving faster digital transformation in the application development space, it has become an imperative for us to drive community education to enable these developers to achieve their customer’s goals in a much faster and agile manner. This helps build applications fast, right and for the future.

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