In today’s environment where technology trends are rapidly evolving, it is a business imperative to build high-quality and data-intensive software systems. Polyglot developers who can adapt to any set of skills are likely to be one of the most indispensable assets in this industry. Business teams are looking for an agile and a robust foundation for SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud) experts who can deploy these latest technology and tools to build next generation software products. Connected to this, there has been a steady wave of cutting-edge technologies that have started invading the software industries in the past few years. However, no one single technology can fully offer customized solutions that can adapt or match the augmentation in software trends. It is up to the industry to employ highly skilled professionals and build a culture of innovation that can exceed client expectations. We have observed a digital transformation in every corner of businesses whether in healthcare, finance, manufacturing, or entertainment. Customers are now demanding for technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled software with personalized recommendations suiting their preferences and hence, it is our responsibility to build such intelligent software systems for them. In this article, I will discuss some of the software development trends, opportunities, and challenges poised in the year 2020.
DevOps – Continuous Integration + Continuous Delivery
There are multiple definitions for the word – DevOps. As per software development term, DevOps is a combination of two words – Development and Operation and is powered by various types of tools for source version control, build and deployment automation, continuous integration, monitoring, and much more. However, the real definition comes from the visual representation of DevOps indicating a continuum in process of innovation, DevOps accelerates innovation and acts as a foundation for faster iteration of build, test, and deploy routines which can help software companies become more agile than ever before. Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) enables packaging and delivery of software binaries with end-to-end automation with capabilities of detecting anomalies much faster. A typical DevOps automation pipeline involves:
Code Build —> Security Scans —> Quality Automation — > Deployment and Monitoring
Since all of the above stages are automated with zero manual intervention and 100% auditability, the risk mitigation is significantly improved. Furthermore, inculcating the culture of DevOps, saves valuable time and efforts of developers who can then focus on solving more complex problems than just debugging build and operational issues.
The monitoring and observability in production is also critical for feeding back into the development cycle with lessons learned. Rapid experimentation with empirical results in production can help inform the product direction as well.
Big Data to Intelligent Data
We are generating data faster than ever before in every industry from telecom to healthcare and from government to finance. It is essential that we are empowered to take data-driven decisions almost in real-time. Big Data uses commodity hardware to provide a platform that not only provides distributed storage, but also a model training platform for heavy duty prediction and forecasting. With rapid development in open source framework involving big data, industries are already graduating towards deriving valuable insights from massive amount of data.
AI and Conversational System
The use of AI and Machine Learning (ML) has increased rapidly and has fast become the cornerstone of most of the financial intelligence systems around the world. Moreover, AI is being extensively used in regulatory use of data, predictive analytics for risk assessments, to identify intraday peak liquidity demands, and to detect anomalies in cash flows. You can find a vast realm of innovation in the space of bots and smart agents. There are a wide range of bots that can understand and solve customer problems, automate simple to complex workflows, perform auto approvals, and conduct real-time risk analysis. Therefore, it is important for budding developers and entrepreneurs to explore opportunities in the field of big data, data science, and ML to achieve competitive advantage. According to the Zinnov Campus Compensation Study 2019, the highly paid niche skills in the job market today are AI / ML, Data Science, Cyber Security, and Cloud technologies. This is precisely the reason why these cutting-edge skills are being extensively thought in all professional courses and certifications. Every company must seriously take AI / Ml and must have a product roadmap featuring the inclusions of these technologies that can help in reducing customer efforts and enhancing customer experience. The future starts now!
Bhargavi Sunkara heads the Corporate Technology team for BNY Mellon globally, based out of Pune. She drives the transformation of technology that supports corporate functions such as Human Resources, Finance, and Risk by applying emerging technologies, and is a strong voice and advocate in encouraging women in technology.