As a custom software & web development firm dedicated to helping our clients stay one step ahead of the competition, we wanted to share with you some of the most noticeable trends that affected our development processes in 2017. Here are the top five trends we felt deserved your attention:
1. Big Data
It’s been predicted that by 2020 over 20.8 billion “things” will be used all over the world — all connected to the internet and able to both obtain and process massive volumes of human generated data. These data points are collected every time you upload an image to the web, interact with a social media platform, watch a video online, send an email or use a smart device. And every human being connected to the “internet of things” works to generate huge amounts of this “big data” every single day. However, it is the responsibility of organizations hoping to capitalize on big data to analyze, study, and process this influx of information for valuable insights that can result in more efficient business operations and higher profits.
For instance, Big Data can be used for everything from marketing analytics and targeting to increasing customer satisfaction, improving new product developments, and conducting social listening to better understand buyer behavior. As a result, Big Data firms are expected to earn over $76 billion by 2020 through the sale of hardware, software, and professional services designed to help companies tap into the potential of data analytics.
As a web development company, we at Distillery understand the importance of Big Data and have worked with several innovative companies in this space, such as Tala and Syncplicity. Today’s companies, and especially those of tomorrow, will need customized software that can seamlessly integrate all data, process that data in real time, and even make predictions or decisions based on those analytics. After all, the companies who learn the fastest will win, and their x-factor will be the ability to utilize big data better than their competitors.
The flood of Big Data across the web has inevitably created security issues. As a result, there is an increasingly important need for initiatives and investments in the security of user and customer data. In fact, information security spending is expected to reach $113 billion by 2020, with a priority on enhanced detection and response capabilities for enterprises. Why the sudden surge in spending?
According to Cybersecurity Ventures’ research from 2017 to 2022:
- Cyber crime damages are expected to cost an annual $6 trillion.
- Over 3.5 million cyber security jobs will be created.
- Over 6 billion people will become susceptible to cyber attacks.
- And global ransomware damages will exceed $5 billion. (Up from $325 million in 2015.)
In addition, 43% of all cyber attacks target small businesses, causing 60% of these businesses to close their doors within six months of an attack. To combat these startling numbers and assist customers in enhancing their own cybersecurity, Google recently began giving priority to HTTPs (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) and SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encrypted websites over HTTP in their search results. Then, in 2016, the company announced that they would display on their Chrome browser, which is used by 55% of all internet users, whether or not a site was secure. In other words, Google has placed a preference on websites that provide authentication, data integrity, and encryption over those that do not.
So what does all this mean for software or web development firms? For us, it means that in order to develop successful products, security protocols need to be high on the list of priorities. Every piece of software or app that is built moving forward will need increasingly complex and innovate security solutions to protect invaluable data. And that’s why at Distillery, we offer comprehensive security testing and data protection to every client we work with, ensuring that their information is safe and their future is secure.
From 2008 to 2014, the global investment in FinTech, or Finance Technology, increased from a mere $930 million to a whopping $12 billion. This increase was estimated to be three times the rate of total venture capital investments. And according to a recent report from International and CB Insights, this investment has increased by 106% since 2014, with global investment reaching $19.1 billion in 2016.
Why the sudden spike? Because the financial services sector has been late to the party of innovation, requiring plenty of red tape to be cut before technology could be infused into outdated practices. Today, there is an expected ROI of 20% on FinTech projects, with key emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and data storage leading the charge in an industry now desperate to maintain security, update their legacy systems, and integrate with new solutions for improved customer retention.
In the future, we should expect to see FinTech alter the financial services sector in a variety of ways, from facilitating flexible payment processes and money transfers to transforming insurance claims. Meanwhile, at Distillery, we know a thing or two about FinTech innovation. Together with one of our premier clients — Netvest — we won the Gold Medal for the “Digital FinTech” category in the 2017 San Francisco Design awards, as well as the Gold Stevie International Business Award for “Best New Product or Service of the Year — Software — FinTech Solution.” And we’re proud to be on the forefront of this exciting new trend as a custom web development company dedicated to full-service software design and innovation.
As of this writing, Bitcoin — the most popular of all Blockchain technologies — has surpassed $11,000 per coin, only one day after reaching an unprecedented $10K mark. And while some experts say this is a bubble just waiting to burst, no one can deny that these Blockchain technologies are completely disrupting the financial sector. In fact, by early 2016 the total cryptocurrency market tripled in value, reaching $25 billion by March 2017. And from 2013 to 2017 the number of unique active users of cryptocurrency wallets grew from 2.9 to 5.8 million people, with an estimated 11.5 million active wallets in use as of 2017.
If you’re unfamiliar with blockchain, it is a decentralized database that allows users to store information across a vast network of personal computers under the oversight of the entire network itself, rather than a centralized agency. As a result, blockchain is relatively hack-proof. At the moment, this technology is being used by companies in the financial services, pharma, telecom, and energy sectors; however, Bitcoin is by far the most famous application.
According to a recent PwC Fintech report, 77% of financial services incumbents surveyed expected to adopt blockchain systems or processes by 2020. And funding in blockchain companies increased 79% in 2016, resulting in a $450 million investment. Most likely uses for this technology are believed to be in Payments Infrastructure, Fund Transfer Infrastructure, and Digital Identity Management, according to the PwC report.
Why? Because blockchain enhances security, quickly detects fraud, and allows businesses to analyse cases of both fraud and processing errors more effectively. And as a corporate web development company interested in protecting our clients from such damages, we have invested considerable energy into learning more about blockchain technologies and how they can help our clients in the digital space. Our recent client, Popchest, which enables community supported video, is one such example of a blockchain option on the rise.
To understand cloud-native technology, we must first understand monolithic applications, which are fading out of popularity with enterprises. Why? Because in a monolithic application — which is massive, solid, and uniform by definition — a single change requires subsequent changes throughout the entire application. Everything, right on down to the code, is intrinsically linked and co-dependent, leading to high-risk software releases — because if one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong.
Now, in the case of cloud-native, all software has been loosely coupled by way of microservices, making one system failure unlikely to affect the system as a whole. This allows users to validate more quickly and through more agile processes. Furthermore, unlike in monolithic systems, these microservice-focused tools use automation to create an “invisible infrastructure” that makes it far easier to build, launch, and update software applications. For instance, cloud-native systems are driven by DevOps methodologies, meaning that everything is automated from integrations to program interfaces and configuration management, making these applications more resilient and less wasteful.
And due to the ease of use for most cloud-native applications, this trend has enabled more nimble competitors to overtake slower counterparts still utilizing monolithic systems. How? By enabling users to test and deploy smaller applications or MVPs without affecting the application as a whole. And by decentralizing this process, software developers can focus more on the app itself rather than the holistic infrastructure, making it easier to control, faster to implement and more efficient and lean than previous methods. In short, cloud-native technologies allow teams to simply work on the application at hand, one sprint at a time. And as a result, it’s estimated that by 2020, nearly all new enterprise applications will be cloud-native, with a majority of legacy applications migrating to a similar infrastructure.
At Distillery, our ability to capitalize on these trends and offer the latest technological advances to our clients will only increase. If you’re looking to develop a new application and want see if we’re a good fit, reach out and let’s talk about your idea. We guarantee you’ll be in great hands, and that we’ll be ready to tackle whatever new trends may arise in 2018.
Cheers to the new year! Let’s build something great together.
About the Author
As Distillery’s Director of Business Development, Matt Cowan is passionate about working with clients to address their business needs and achieve their strategic goals. With a diverse background working with companies of all sizes across many industries, he prides himself on his ability to see things from the client’s perspective.