The age of low code application development has never been more exciting or relevant. As the need for going digital is exploding, we are literally on the front lines of changing the game of how software is developed! By allowing more and more business people to build and manage their own custom applications, we are opening a world of empowerment that in the past has been off limits. It’s fantastic to see our customers pushing themselves to own their destinies, which is pushing us as well.
TrackVia continues to charge headlong on our quest to “make the hard stuff easy,” and while we have made great progress in 2018, we have an even more aggressive schedule in 2019. Our customers inspire us every day to do more and we have so much in store to support their efforts!
With that said, as the game is changing in 2019, here are a few predictions on the horizon for the new year…
1. Business processes involving multiple systems continue to increase in scale and complexity.
Starting with a softball here…as TrackVia digs deeper into solving customer problems, we are seeing additional complexity that needs to be supported — both from our customers’ applications (although we have plenty to do there), as well as how to better manage the information flowing between TrackVia and other systems.
There is no simple answer to this complexity. Yet, it is changing the landscape of how we think about apps, and more importantly, how we think about the flow of data between systems and the data contracts that are inherently created by connecting systems together. There’s no short-term solution. Instead, it will be a progressive journey toward the end result over the next several years.
2. Integrations Engineer jobs will continue to surge (and they will be easier to get!).
As an extension of the complexity discussed above, one obvious downstream impact is that the role of the integration engineer is becoming significantly more important in an organization. This isn’t a new role, there have been integration engineers since there have been computers. What’s different now, however, is the explosion of cloud systems and the ease of integrations between them.
Connected systems are great because they can work together to complement functionality, but the connection (the integration) exposes a new set of challenges, requiring integration engineers to figure out. Some of these challenges are fundamental, like how to monitor that transactions are moving from one system to the next, while others are higher level, like ensuring the integrity of the information that is picked up or handed off… but that brings me to my next prediction….
3. Blockchain will find its way into apps and data.
To date, it feels like Bitcoin sucks the air out of the room when blockchain is mentioned, and that is an association that is both unfair and unnecessary. There are many uses for blockchain other than just managing Bitcoin transactions.
We’ve talked about systems getting more complex, and yet putting them together with other systems has never been easier. Imagine multiple systems working together, touching the majority of people in your organization. Of course, this is happening in your organization now. But were you aware of it? And, do you know how to audit this information as it is passed from one system to another?
2019 is going to be the year of governance as data is passed around from system to system. For example, if an order is passed between three different systems (Salesforce, TrackVia, NetSuite) and part of the order is changed, how do you manage the audit of this change? What about if the order touches five systems? How about ten systems?
While blockchain might be overkill for some transactions, I can easily foresee some external governance tools used to ensure data integrity as information ping pongs around various corporate systems.
4. Data is the new oil. Or bacon. Or both.
The three earlier predictions all boil down to one hard fact. The information that you generate and manage within your organization has tremendous value. Is this really something new? No, “Data is the new oil” is a phrase from 2017. What I am suggesting is that 2019 will be the year that validates this. It’s one thing to make the claim that data is the new bacon; it’s another for the claim to be validated and respected. This respect will bring an entirely new thought process to how data is managed within an organization. If data = money, how will you protect it? Account for it? Will there be data accountants in 2019?
5. Mobile will reign as the primary device for accessing the Internet.
Starting in 2017, mobile took over as the primary device for accessing the web. In 2018, 52% of all web traffic originated from mobile devices. This is up from the mid 30% range in 2015. This growth is nothing short of astounding, but when you think about it, it’s also understandable. People expect an omnichannel experience with most every SaaS application, and it’s a direct result of people spending more time on their phones.
In sum, 2019 feels like a breakout year for some aspects of low code application platforms, and in other cases it seems more evolutionary than revolutionary. Managing data across multiple systems is not a new problem, but it will get considerably more complex as it gets easier to share data between systems. Whether blockchain comes to the rescue remains to be seen. Will the value of data be fully realized this year? Again, the jury is out, and it depends on the quality of the data and your ability to gain visibility into what it’s telling you. Regardless of these outcomes, I’m looking forward to what 2019 has to offer!
We want to hear from you. How are these 2019 predictions playing out in your organization?
To learn more about how TrackVia can help you digitize your organization, read The Need for Speed: Automating Manual Processes.