The Future of Application Development: 2022 Predictions

Written By: Jason Bloomberg
February 24, 2022
4 min read

Modern application development continues to advance rapidly, as innovation among processes and tooling struggle to keep up with the demands of digitally savvy customers and corporate employees.

These advancements, however, largely fall into two camps: business-driven and technology-driven.

Business-driven application development efforts focus on the behavior of software at the user interface, spanning traditional computers as well as the full range of devices from smartphones to tablets to specialized equipment interfaces.

Technology-driven development centers on applications or application components like microservices that interact with databases and other systems of record, as well as third-party cloud-based applications. Instead of user interfaces, many technology-centric applications deliver functionality and data to business-centric applications via application programming interfaces (APIs).

Innovation in both business and technology-driven application development will continue to drive forward in 2022 – as well as a related trend that seeks in part to bring both perspectives together into an end-to-end effort focused on customer value.

This end-to-end effort is an integral part of any organization’s digital transformation initiative. 2022 may be the year that organizations successfully bring their digital transformation priorities to the application development landscape.

Technology-Driven Development Trends for 2022

Within enterprise IT departments, cloud-native computing has become a fundamental paradigm shift in enterprise software infrastructure. The IT organization thus becomes a support organization for the business, helping to extend the scalability and elasticity benefits of the cloud to all of IT, providing support for faster, more scalable applications across the entire enterprise landscape.

Leveraging these cloud-native best practices are a range of modern software development trends, including DevOps, continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD), and GitOps. These practices promise faster, higher quality software from organizations who have multiple teams working on increasingly dynamic software initiatives.

2022 will see a continuing maturity of these software trends as enterprises transition to cloud-native computing across their hybrid IT landscapes.

Business-Driven Application Development Trends for 2022

Business-driven development, especially at the enterprise level, has developed substantial sophistication over the last decade, and such sophistication should continue into 2022 and beyond.

Design-centric development in particular is probably the most important business-driven trend expected to expand in 2022. This trend goes beyond the specific design choices for a user interface, instead focusing on the overall appropriateness of an application for meeting user needs.

Among the technologies that bring design-centric sensibilities to business-driven development are low-code and no-code. Both low-code and no-code tools and platforms empower a range of different people in different roles to participate in the application creation process. These tools offer a visual abstraction that provide simple, drag-and-drop application construction capabilities.

No-code tools empower line-of-business users and other business stakeholders to serve as ‘citizen’ developers, doing much or all the application creation work themselves.

Low-code tools, in contrast, enable professional developers do the bulk of the work, leveraging low-code to streamline their efforts by taking less valuable tasks off their plate in order to accelerate their efforts.

The Essential Trend that Pulls Business and Technology Personnel Together

The technologies and architectural practices that business-centric and technology-centric developers follow may be different, but their goals are aligned: deliver high-value application functionality to end-users.

End-to-end collaboration, however, has always been a struggle. Bringing stakeholders into development meetings has been an Agile principle for over two decades but making this collaboration productive remains a difficult challenge.

One of the most important trends to extend into 2022, however, is the way that low-code and no-code tools bring front-end and back-end teams together.

Citizen developers, designers, and business technologists now have a structured environment where they can collaborate with the technology-centric developers that bring expertise in integration, security, governance, and working within modern cloud-native environments to the table.

Collaboration will remain a challenge, but as low-code and no-code tools mature, business and technology-driven efforts in large organizations are more likely to work together to meet business needs.

The Intellyx Take

There is a long-standing observation known as Conway’s Law that states that software organizational patterns will follow human organizational patterns, and vice versa.

This ‘law’ is surprisingly consistent in its application – and it applies to the discussion of business vs. technology-driven software development as well.

Organizations that conduct their development in separate organizational silos will end up with disconnected software efforts. On the flip side, bringing these teams together will promote software that works seamlessly end-to-end.

Low-code and no-code tools can be the glue that brings not only technology, but different teams together, helping them to align with the same goals.

There will continue to be resistance to this new-found collaboration well into 2022 and beyond. After all, organizational silos have an annoying level of persistence.

Following Conway’s Law, however, leveraging better collaboration tools like low-code and no-code can impact the organizations that use the tools for the better. In 2022, we can all hope that this end-to-end vision for collaboration becomes more of a reality as organizations get up to speed with such tools and platforms.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Quickbase is an Intellyx customer. Intellyx retains final editorial control of this article.

Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the President of Intellyx.

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