In trolling around on LinkedIn over the holidays I saw a ton of posts predicting stuff for 2014 – I couldn’t resist adding my own. So here we go, here are the top three trends that I think we’re going to see a lot of focus on this year. These are certainly things that the Tandem team is looking at.
This is certainly not a new trend, but it’s only going to get bigger. As technology evolves, more and more of our computing power is moving into the cloud. Whether they move to Amazon Web Services or a private cloud, the complexity is there.
Beyond just moving to the cloud, applications themselves are becoming more complex. Most applications are no longer a single Ruby-on-Rails app, they’re a conglomerate of many apps and services running together.
All of this requires coordination and automation and that’s where the DevOps movement comes into play with tools like Chef. The movement is giving developers the tools and authority within organizations to contribute to the operations landscape and tune deployment, scaling, and integration specifically for the apps they work on.
Lastly, the cloud presents new cost challenges to organizations and saving money on Amazon Web Services or Rackspace Cloud is critical. The DevOps toolbox includes many tools and techniques for adjusting resource utilization to avoid waste and maximize availability.
I hardly know anyone these days who doesn’t have more than one device with them most of the day, and many more when the arrive at home or the office. As we are presented with more choices of which devices to interact with we will continue to demand experiences that span those screens.
Take the LinkedIn system for example, by my count there are no fewer than 6 ways to interact with it:
- Desktop web browser
- iPhone app
- iPad app
- Android phone App
- Android tablet App
- Mobile web experience
In all of these environments you’re able to access all of your data, add new contacts, send InMail, read your feed, and execute searches. If any one of these were degraded on a given platform or if a platform was wholly unsupported, the user experience would be lacking.
If you’re planning to launch a digital product in 2014 it’s no longer good enough to just throw up a web application. You have to think about the mobile and tablet experiences. At Tandem we recommend folks at least start with a responsive web application that scales from a phone form-factor up to a desktop experience. Planning for this from the start is key.
The Ubiquitous API
Another huge trend over the last few years has been APIs. Almost every web application of any value provides a developer API so that third-party engineers can interact with the app and it’s data. Applications which make use of multiple APIs are on the rise and the benefit to consumers is enormous.
One area in which APIs are exploding is healthcare, in particular medical and health devices. Take FitBit for example. Not just FitBit itself, but look at the dozens of companies that can pull information from your FitBit device and mash it up with information from your home scale and the treadmill at your gym.
All of this is made possible by the APIs exposed by these platforms. At Tandem we’ve been fortunate to build several APIs for customers and we see that trend continuing.