Top Trends in Web Application Industry for 2014

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Top Trends in Web Apps for 2014

At the opening keynote of ModUX 2013 conference last month in Amsterdam, we presented our vision of the web application industry for 2014. Furthermore, Gartner identified the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2014 last week. Both reports boil down to the same summary: the hybrid cloud bomb is going nuclear!

Mobile Devices in the Enterprise

Managing access to corporate services and data is no longer limited to closed environments. The BYOD movement is taking off like a tsunami that will bring new opportunities to those that prepared or pain to those who did not. However, embracing BYOD will bring new challenges for managers, IT professionals, and budgeting.

Wonderful solutions that help ease the problems already exist. Nonetheless, this nascent trend also means that experience in setting up viable environments is rare. Some see it as a challenge, but we think of it as a great opportunity!

HTML5 and JavaScript Standardization

The BYOD movement is a huge opportunity for hybrid web applications. The increased fragmentation of platforms is where the web really shines.

HTML5 is expected to reach the final stage of development in 2014. Its modularity and an increased support for a wide array of media types through audio/video APIs, image manipulation, WebRTC, etc. make it a compelling choice for an enterprise-level application development platform. Gartner suggests that developers focus on media-rich interfaces.

The vast variety of devices require optimizations that further increase complexity to designers and engineers. According to Gartner, there are well more than 100 potential tools vendors, but a dominant tool to rule them all is nowhere on the horizon. This means that evolution is in full effect, leaving plenty of space for innovation. Despite that, the tools and frameworks will no longer succeed solely with a creative vision; they will have to be able to execute on it.

Connected Devices

While the explosion of smart phones is calming down, connected devices are grabbing the attention at an exponential pace. The internet of things – watches, eyewear, cars, and other gear are expected to attract much more interest as personal and enterprise assets in the coming years. It’s another major unknown left to conquer, in which Gartner highlights four basic usage models:

  • Managing
  • Monetizing
  • Operating
  • Extending

The four models don’t just apply to the ‘things’, but also to people, data, and places.

Cloud Stack

Personal computing no longer involves big boxes with big screens or sitting stationary while operating one. In the modern world, it’s the internet connected devices that matter, no matter how powerful they are or how big a screen they have. With internet being the common denominator instead of the point of access, the data and service models are shifting towards the cloud.

The cloud is getting in charge. It’s absolutely necessary for BYOD and BYOA environments as the central point of control. With power of the user’s devices becoming less relevant, computing is shifted to the server (cloud), brokering the information presented in hand or on a desktop. HTML5 is a fantastic solution for such infrastructure.

Managing Teams

Developer productivity is the new black. Software product development has always been a fast evolving global industry. Advances in coding frameworks, development tools, collaboration and infrastructure are allowing small high-performing teams to out-produce larger, slower competitors. Effectively configuring and managing a global team requires collaboration tools and meaningful engagement. Best practices for integrating developers working in remote locations, either at home or at a client site, is no longer and art, but a trainable scalable reality. As a ‘distributed agile’ and lean product development become the norm, were excited for the new role of the development team in a ‘Lean Product’ world.

Conclusion

Improvements are happening on a daily basis. It’s essential to prepare in order to avoid being suddenly hit by a changed reality. What are you doing to prepare for the future? What other trends to you see happening in 2014? I would love to hear your thoughts so please share your comments.


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