Poet's Feather

3 Predictions About the Future of Custom Software Development

The software development industry is constantly evolving, and there are a number of trends that are shaping the future of custom software development. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most important trends to watch, including:The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in software development, the increasing importance of security, and balancing the risks and benefits of offshore development.

A look at trends in custom software development for 2023 (and beyond).

Software development life cycle.

The landscape of custom software development is rarely stagnant. Like anything else related to technology, it's constantly evolving. With recent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), change is occurring faster than ever before, too.

Based on everything we've seen so far in 2023, we have three main predictions for the future of software development:

  1. AI continues to increase the speed and velocity of software development
  2. Software is built with a security-first mindset
  3. Companies learn that offshore development sometimes costs more

These aren't groundbreaking predictions by any means. But, they've had a massive impact on custom software development already, and we suspect these particular trends will continue throughout 2023 and 2024. 

1. AI continues to increase the speed and velocity of software development

ChatGPT entered the spotlight in late 2022 and changed the way people work, forever. Software developers in particular now use it to help them get more work done, faster.

AI tools, like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot, help developers automate monotonous tasks, test for errors, and even write complete code. 

For example, use AI to automate code linting and testing, freeing up time for developers to focus on more creative and strategic work. AI can also help improve the quality of code by detecting bugs and vulnerabilities, reducing the risk of security breaches.

You don't have to be a developer to use AI, either. If you're a business owner with limited technical knowledge, you can use AI tools to help you brainstorm and refine software ideas for your own company.

Give the AI context by explaining your business, your customers, and some of the most common problems or pain points you experience. Then, ask it to generate 5-10 custom software ideas that would automate time-consuming processes and improve operations.

The initial outputs might not be perfect (or even good), but you can refine them by continuing the conversation. Prompts like "Go on," "tell me more," "explain X further" are great ways to get more details. 

2. Software is built with a security-first mindset

This one may seem a bit obvious, but you'd by surprised by how often cybersecurity best practices are neglected in software development. Especially when there's a deadline on the horizon.

This is a mistake that can have serious consequences for businesses. Just look at Proofpoint's Cybersecurity Glossary for a glimpse at the myriad threats that exist.

Security threats are evolving as AI use increases, too. Developers have to contend with:

  • Adaptive Threats: AI-powered threats can learn and adapt. They can analyze defenses and find weaknesses in code, altering their approach in real-time. This necessitates continuous monitoring and regular updates to security measures.
  • Enhanced Social Engineering Schemes: AI can analyze user behavior and patterns to craft highly personalized and convincing emails. Robust authentication protocols and user education on advanced phishing tactics can help.
  • Automated Attacks: AI can execute attacks at a massive scale and speed. This means that vulnerabilities can be exploited more quickly, so security measures must be equally agile and responsive.

Neglecting security best practices is becoming riskier by the day. Smart developers understand this and will plan projects accordingly.

3. Companies learn that offshore development sometimes costs more

There's no denying the allure of outsourcing to an offshore development firm. You get access to a global pool of talent. The cost savings are, theoretically, significant. 

At a time when tech layoffs are still the norm, outsourcing is even more tempting. When dedicated employees are no longer an option, offshore help at a fraction of the cost seems like a deal.

However, the downsides can often wipe out any potential savings. 

We've seen tons of projects go sideways over the years. Ballooning budgets, work being farmed out to inexperienced devs, a mishmash of coding styles from dozens of different devs, communication issues, and the list goes on. 

This project with Rug Doctor is a perfect example. Codepoet inherited unusable code from an offshore team that was full of security issues and antiquated code. We fixed the code and now everything works flawlessly, but ideally the system would have functioned correctly from the beginning. 

As layoffs and limited resources cause more and more businesses to test out offshore development, we suspect that many will have similar experiences. 

There is one caveat, though: Companies with in-house technical resources tend to have more success with offshore development.

In-house development expertise means it's easier to have a more hands-on approach to management and quality control. Managing offshore devs can still be time consuming, however.

What next for the custom software development industry?

If the last year is any indication, more changes are on the horizon and advances in AI and other technologies will accelerate the pace.

Trends like AI, increased security risks, and offshore development are not only shaping the industry but also reshaping how businesses leverage custom software tools. The key to running a successful business in this landscape lies in understanding and adapting to these rapid changes.

Remember, a good development partner can help you build software tools that automate processes, improve operations, and more. Ready to take the next step? Reach out to us. As an experienced software development firm, we're here to understand your unique needs and guide you through your software journey.