Top 2018 Business Trends: Three Questions For Software Developers

Susan Galer

Trend No. 1: Digital becomes the transformational norm. Is your company ready?

We’ve been talking about digital transformation for years, but now it’s finally happening in a big way. IDC research predicted that 60% of all enterprises will have fully articulated an organization-wide digital transformation strategy by 2020. What’s more, investors will use a company’s platform and ecosystem as a key metric in valuation in the same timeframe. Here’s how Thomas Grassl, vice president and global head of Developer and Community Relations at SAP, summarized the impact on developers.

“Developers are the creative thinkers and technology experts of the digital revolution,” said Grassl. “Accessing the right data sources, mashing up information, and applying analytics capabilities ‒ that’s all done by developers. That’s why vendors like SAP are providing the technologies, as well as the help developers need to get started easily.”

Developers certainly seemed to agree. In my video interview at SAP TechEd Barcelona, Pawel Grześkowiak, SAP Community Leader at Capgemini, showed me how his team is using SAP Developer Center to not only learn about the latest technologies, but just as important, grow Capgemini’s innovative practice.


Trend No. 2: The edge is the number-one place to innovate. Do you have the skills?

Cloud computing has moved innovation to the edge, bringing people smarter, and more immersive, contextual services than ever, whether we’re in the workplace, at home, or out and about. Here are just three IDC predictions:

  • By next year, 40% of digital transformation initiatives will use AI services.
  • In just two years, 25% of field-service technicians and over 25% of information workers will use augmented reality. Fifty percent of mobile apps will use voice as the primary interact, while 50% of consumer-facing Global 2000 companies will use biometric sensors to personalize experiences.
  • By 2021, over 50% of enterprises will spend more per year on bots and chatbot creation than traditional mobile app development.

Staying ahead of these trends is crucial for developers, especially in the business environment. “You may think you have a stable career now, but the market will demand new skills at a rapid pace, and you as a developer, have to constantly learn and expand,” said Grassl.

Developers need to rethink how they design and build applications for a new kind of openness to drive new business processes across networks.

Trend No. 3: Multi-level, open connectivity is paramount. How well-connected are you?

Connectivity is morphing exponentially, bringing dramatic breakthroughs for businesses and the developers they desperately need. By 2021, IDC predicts that over half of Global 2000 companies will conduct one-third of digital services interactions through open API ecosystems. By 2021, enterprise applications will shift to hyper-agile architectures, and 80% of application development on cloud platforms will use microservices and cloud functions. This amplifies every organization’s digital reach far beyond their own customer interactions.

Blockchain-enabled applications are a great example of this new connectivity. IDC predicts that by 2020 there will be blockchain networks in production, primarily divided between global banks (25%), manufacturers and retailers (30%), and healthcare organizations (20%).

“Developers have to rethink how they design and build applications for a new kind of openness to drive new business processes across the networks,” said Grassl. “Instead of focusing only on specs for your company, developers have to think about opening up a program for expanded participation. Open Source will play a key role, moving beyond collaborating on code for applications, tools, and frameworks, to furthering the next wave that allows others to innovate with you, creating totally different processes for trusted business through innovations like blockchain.”

For more insight on innovative new technologies and business strategy, see The Problem With Exponential Innovation: People.

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This article originally appeared on SAP News Center.

Susan Galer

About Susan Galer

Susan Galer is the Communications Director, SAP News Services.