Technology in the 21st century is rapidly evolving and with it the potential for personal and business improvements. Globally, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the internet of things (IoT) are all advancing at a high velocity with 5G rollouts and blockchain following suit. Despite these extremely exciting developments, it’s important to consider the software and app development landscape unique to South Africa given challenges such as electricity constraints and rolling blackouts. Nevertheless, there seems to be a definite shift towards cloud-first adoption with more and more businesses opting for cloud migration and cloud computing. Look out for these 5 trends in 2022 and beyond:
Covid-19 caused the digital transformation to accelerate tremendously and by extension, the role played by software and app development. It brought about extraordinary, intelligent, and agile solutions that can take industries forward in leaps and bounds. It is expected that software and app development will continue to play a pivotal role in building a competitive edge for companies.
1. Three areas of business growth
Organisations are progressively seeing an opportunity for software and app development to grow their business in three major areas:
- Internal: Improved engagement with current employees and systems to streamline communication and business operations.
- Financial: Growing existing customer base and new revenue streams.
- External: Customer engagement and retention.
In addition to delivering services and goods to their customers, business owners also use apps to boost their return on investment, acquire new customers and retain their existing customers. With many employees currently working remotely and the clear indication that remote work is here to stay, internal apps and ecosystems can be utilised to connect current employees and teams. For example, cloud software can connect remote workers and teams working in the field with a central management console. It can also be used to access the latest product information when integrated with the company’s existing document management systems.
2. Cloud migration and cloud computing
Businesses that adopt or accelerate their cloud strategies in 2022 will be best placed to leverage the latest technology. Cloud computing will continue to advance in South Africa and will become integral to modern businesses especially given the predominance of remote work. One of the most persuasive advantages of cloud computing is cloud scalability. This, in turn, will have a positive impact on business transformation. The advancement in cloud infrastructure will most likely be led by hyperscalers like Google, AWS and Microsoft, as well as local vendors.
3. Cybersecurity as a priority
It is expected that cybercrime will increase in 2022 both in severity and prevalence. Remote work resulted in new cybersecurity threats and businesses should realise that protection needs to move far beyond the traditional firewall. User identity in the cloud should be prioritised to ensure that the right employees have the correct level of access to the resources they need to while preventing unauthorised access. Businesses should therefore prioritise cybersecurity including protecting personal information including employee data and sensitive company data.
Remote work increased substantially as a result of Covid-19. To meet employee needs, businesses had to adapt a work-from-anywhere approach to their networks and security. SD-WAN is ideal to support the home office environment and the organisation by connecting to multiple clouds to accelerate the delivery of cloud-based resources. SD-WAN solutions are expected to grow in popularity in 2022 and beyond due to its ability to support long-term remote work strategies without compromising cybersecurity. SD-WAN offers numerous benefits such as cloud-ready infrastructure, lower costs, built-in security, and improved agility.
5. Custom software development
Considering the rapid expansion and investment into moving to the cloud and digitalisation South Africa will see massive growth in custom software development. Although off-the-shelf apps and software are making inroads into various industries, many of these pre-developed software has limitations: It can either not integrate with current systems or it’s not perfectly suited to the South African user and/or infrastructure. Companies are turning to South African app development companies that understand the needs of the local market and the way South Africans think and do business. Progressive web apps (PWAs) are another trend that warrants keeping an eye on. PWAs can be described as a hybrid app that is a combination of web pages and mobile apps. PWAs are faster to develop as they are essentially a website with added app-like functionality, require less loading time, take up little storage space and are easily usable across numerous devices.
South Africa is entering a particularly exciting phase in the digital landscape characterised by ample opportunities to take businesses to a new level of agility and competitiveness. In the context of software and app development, data shows that in 2022 and beyond, software and app development will become more customer-centric and agile than ever before.
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