Custom app development is once again in trend. In fact, it never got outdated. There was always a need for serving customers and easing basic business processes, although collaboration was often hindered by legacy systems and old-fashioned methodologies that were everything but fast and cheap. Custom application development quickly grew to become a “hot trend” because it had the capacity to make apps run faster and perform a lot better.

However, innovation doesn’t usually last long. The moment the world finds out your “secret ingredient, your discovery stops being an innovation. The same thing happened to applications. The reason why customization was in trend was that it made a difference. Soon enough, vendors began developing packaged software with the “secret ingredient” of your innovation. When a boxed solution reaches maturity and a standard price, customized development starts to make zero sense.

Custom application development 2.0

Numerous trends are compelling IT companies to reconsider custom app development. Technology-driven trends like the IoT, Analytics, mobility, APIs and pioneering app styles enable them to deploy custom applications a lot faster. When the cloud entered the scene, custom development as a whole went through a makeover. The greatest impact of the cloud was on building new platforms. Back in the old days, it required capacity for custom development.

However, the cloud managed to simplify everything because it brought into the market a unique value proposition: the ability to consume the capacity of an external platform and de-provision once done, thus diminishing costs and adding investment in new services. In simple terms, the cloud via its APIs – commercial model and increased tooling and services, allowed companies to work with tools that are not their own; and thus save money by not overspending on proprietary software.

The cloud – elastic to the core, efficient to the bone 

Before anyone realized it, cloud platforming went mainstream. Developing web services now involves acquiring new development tools, servers, and middleware. It can easily be done in today’s digital realm by simply opting for Amazon, Google, or Azure, enabling scalable global distribution and elastic capacity. Prior to the cloud development, sizeable platforms required huge build-outs and six-figure capital investments to see fruition.

Right now, it can all be done in weeks. And if it’s not perfect, it can be improved and tested over and over again until it flows. But then again, there’s a catch. Advanced technology can become outdated really fast. Think of PHP and React for software development, the latter being one of the most sought-after skills in the world among developers.

Custom application development trends to look after in 2021

As opposed to off-the-shelf solutions, custom application development is key to streamlining business processes while also enabling seamless digital transformation. And after everything that’s happened in 2020, the world is starting to see the true power of the digital. The benefits of customization are indisputable, and as far as future trends are concerned, it is safe to assume that both AI (artificial intelligence) and blockchain technology will continue to take data and data security to the next level.

Progressive web apps are also winning ground with their ability to offer improved capabilities and functionalities to most applications. User engagement and high conversions via push notifications, background updates, and smart caching make custom application development even better. One thing’s for sure: with time, the way apps are being developed will continue to advance. For companies to preserve the competitive edge, the key is to never stop learning and never stop embracing what new tech stacks can do internally and externally.