It’s the time of year that we start to see predictions for all manner of things for the next year. No doubt you’ll be seeing lots of articles talking about the tech trends for 2020. It would be remiss of us not to add our own thoughts!

We’ve scoured lots of articles and here’s what we think are the 5 things to keep an eye on next year.

Hyperautomation

We’ll see the use of advanced technologies, such as AI and machine learning, to help automate processes and augment workers. This isn’t to say it will replace workers completely, automate processes which are significantly more impactful than traditional automation capabilities.

Multiexperience

In a world where users have increasingly higher expectations of the tech they use, multiexperience will be key. They will expect to be able to interact and control the digital world across a range of devices and sensory touchpoints.

Democratisation

With access to technology rapidly becoming more accessible, we’ll see a move to creating simplified digital systems. Coupled with this, they’ll be able to tap into automated expertise that beyond their training or experience.

Distributed cloud

We’ll see a major evolution in cloud computing. Applications, platforms, tools, security management and other services will move from a centralised data centre model to one in which the services are distributed at the point of need.

Low-code

Low-code platforms will see more prominence and use within software development. Up to half of all developers could use or plan to use low-code solutions next year.

The low-code low-down

We’re big fans of low-code and we think it’s going to make a big impact next year. Here’s our thinking behind this.

1. Explosion in applications: web and mobile

By 2022, annual mobile app downloads will reach 258 billion! This is a 45% increase from the 2017 figure. With mobile users growing to approximately 7 billion by 2021, we think the use of apps will significantly grow. Businesses will need to continue to push the boundaries with mobile app innovation and development to meet evolving customer demands.

Now, here’s the mind-blowing bit. By 2023, more applications will have been written than in the last 2 decades! The type of demand we’re talking about will not be met with traditional methods. To sustain the demand, app development will need to speed up. Players like OutSystems are already showing it’s possible to do this 10 times faster. Add AI innovations and we could see development speed up to 100 times faster.

2. Legacy systems and “technical debt”

The cost of maintaining legacy systems is growing and will be unsustainable in the long term. New solutions to help the efficient and quick management of large enterprise systems, with minimal resources, need to be found. Low-code is well placed to overcome this apparently insurmountable problem. Low-code also opens up the use of “Citizen Developers” which adds significant resources to development capabilities.

3. New technology and user demand

New technology such as 5G, the explosion of data and an increasingly demanding consumer all add complexity and pressure on the apps of the future.

The introduction of 5G networks, for example, will create a data-intensive environment that will facilitate the opening of new markets for developers. Organisations will automate more core processes and deliver improved applications for presenting, capturing, and sharing essential data. This is turn points to more cloud-based storage given the limitations of physical device storage.

Mobile users are demanding more personalised app experiences that respond to their unique needs. Apps that maximise multiexperience and AI capabilities will win out. Low-code has embraced these themes, making it easier to meet consumer demand.

Now, the sceptic in you might say that we’ve seen this all before with “Object Oriented Programming” in the 80s, or with other Model Driven Development tools developed in the Noughties. These all failed for two reasons: the products didn’t deliver enough value and the industry wasn’t sure how to use them.

Low-code has arrived at precisely the right time – alongside the acceleration of hardware, other technology, such as AI and cloud – all driven by the changes demanded by consumers who are obsessed with their smartphones!

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