Custom software development was in high demand last year and this year isn’t going to be any different. The need for software developers has also accelerated in recent years because of the emergence of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Blockchain, and the continued digital transformation across industries.
The technology is rapidly evolving and while some tools become mainstream, others fade into obscurity.
This makes it essential for enterprises to be aware of the latest trends and advancements within the tech space to take advantage of any potential opportunity that might be presented.
So what can we expect to see in 2019? Let’s take a look.
1. 2019 Will Be The Year of Machine Learning (ML)
AI will have an increasingly pronounced role in enterprise operations, and this is especially true for online businesses. However, as more companies become digitally transformed, AI will also become the norm across industries.
According to PwC’s 2019 AI Predictions report, approximately a thousand executives from North American companies stated that they were currently investigating or implementing AI initiatives while 20% of those surveyed hoped to deploy this technology across the organization over the next twelve months.
“We are going to see increasing democratization of the ability to create AI and, more importantly, deploy AI,” said Dario Gil, COO of IBM Research and VP, AI & Quantum Computing. “Just like in the Industrial Revolution, we extended what our muscles could do through machinery.”
As companies implement AI technologies to execute a variety of tasks, the demand for ML will also rise to enhance functions like big data and customer service. For example, some ML applications like chatbots will become highly advanced in the coming months (increasing demand for already scarce AI talent).
2. Observability Will Become Increasingly Important
Because of DevOps methodologies, accountability is also shared by teams on both the development and deployment sides.
However, when developers higher up on the software-stack attempt to maintain the system or explore vulnerabilities, they’re often faced with increased complexity that makes it almost impossible to understand what’s going on within the system.
In response to this, observability has become the go-to solution to this problem. While some developers have claimed that it’s just traditional monitoring, observability is more of an approach and not a specific activity.
The term isn’t exactly new, in fact, it comes from the field of engineering and control theory. According to Peter Waterhouse, founder of Cyanea Consulting and former Senior Strategist at CA Technologies, observability is “a measure of how well internal states of a system can be inferred from knowledge of its external outputs”(and this makes it more like a property of a system, rather than an activity).
There is a wide range of tools that can be leveraged to help you achieve enhanced observability:
- New Relic
In fact, the tools above are perfect for those taking the first step towards developing a more observable system.
With the emergence of the service mesh, a tool that helps you monitor multiple aspects of your software infrastructure (like performance, reliability, and security), observability will be even more critical to the tech industry.
When it comes to monitoring service meshes, the following tools lead the pack:
If you’re a software developer looking to be at the cutting-edge of the industry in 2019, it’ll be a good idea to get on the observability bandwagon.
3. The Blockchain Will Outgrow Cryptocurrencies
While the blockchain might have come to prominence because of the buzz surrounding Bitcoin, this technology has certainly proven it’s worth beyond the world of cryptocurrencies.
This highly transparent distributed ledger with multiple interconnected systems (for storage of data and information) which can’t be modified easily will rapidly remove the need for central entities.
As this technology also enables the authentication of various large-scale transactions in seconds (because there won’t be any intermediaries), you can expect businesses to cut costs by applying it to the entire supply chain while streamlining processes.
The blockchain is also going through a period of accelerated adoption across industries, so you can certainly expect fierce competition for these scarce skills in the new year.
You can also expect to see it grow in importance in distributed, but controlled environments where throughput needs aren’t highly demanding.
4. Quantum Computing Will Solve Just about Any Problem
While the dream has been alive for quite a while, we’re now quite close to realizing it. Traditional computers (that all of us own) can only make calculations using the units 1 and 0. Quantum computers, on the other hand, can multiply indexes for computing, while making both 1 and 0 exist (and combing mathematics and topology to boost speed).
This will help the following industries evolve rapidly as quantum computing can potentially solve the unsolvable problems of today:
2019 will (possibly) be the year that Google Labs debuts its first state-of-the-art quantum chip, that can perform calculations beyond even the best supercomputers that exist today. Whenever this becomes a reality, you can also expect both AI and ML to grow exponentially.
5. Cyber Security Will Continue to Be a Priority
Cyber threats aren’t going away so security will continue to dominate enterprise priorities. Furthermore, with the rise of IoT across industries, you can expect it to get much worse before it gets better (because these systems are inherently more primitive).
In the months to come, you can expect to see a rise in external penetration testing and security audits on existing enterprise security measures. This approach will be critical for both small businesses, and corporate giants alike as a data breach can potentially have dire consequences.
As companies go through digital transformation, they can also potentially increase their exposure to risk. So you can bet that eliminating vulnerabilities and enhancing security will be on everyone’s new year’s resolution list this year.