Change is on the Horizon for Software Product Development and DevOps in 2022

Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself reading various “2022 Predictions” lists covering everything from the healthcare market getting simplified for patients, all the way to how Crypto will take over the world. I’ve seen predictions on personal identity, and solutions-based articles on how we solve the unprecedented global demand for software engineers.

As leaders in software product development and key players in the world of Open Source, we decided to do the same and have a look at our top three 2022 predictions for the world of software product engineering, DevOps and Open Source technologies.

Prediction 1:

The accelerated need for digital engineering expertise will drive enterprises to expect product-driven business outcomes as a service, while causing difficulties in hiring the talent that they need.

Tech talent is the fuel of the new digital economy. By 2028, the demand for software engineers is poised to grow by 21%, faster than the average projected rate of growth for all occupations sitting at 5%. There are clear indicators that technology professionals are now calling the shots, looking for not only market-leading salaries, but work-life balance, remote work, learning and development programs, and opportunities to work on new technologies alongside their day to day engagements.

To meet their growing need for tech talent, these companies will continue to open up opportunities for people outside of the traditional tech hubs of Bangalore, Silicon Valley, London, New York and Sydney, leading to the democratisation of premiums for top talent.

This continued and accelerating market dynamic will also pressure enterprises to embrace the idea of working with digitally native service partners to help build product teams they can rely on to lay strong foundations.

In parallel to this, companies will shift towards greater maturity in how they work with partners to define, design and build software consistently, predictably, and at scale.

The shift in how software solution providers will work is likely to develop in a few steps.

It starts with a shift away from where the majority of the market is today with time & materials-based software product engineering. First, it will move towards relationships where software partners are accountable for “building the product right”, focusing on speed and velocity. This comes in the form of certain story points or feature delivery expectations. Ultimately, it ends with expectations that the partner takes accountability for “building the right product”, where the end product drives business outcomes such as revenue, usage, and customer satisfaction.

For service partners to be able to build the right product to accelerate business outcomes, a commercial structure that takes accountability for the outcomes of the software product must be embraced.

InForm: The Voice of Tech Talent

At the end of 2021, we surveyed over 400 tech workers across the globe to find out more about what they are looking for out of their careers.

Register here for the free “InForm: The Voice of Tech Talent” report to be sent to you next month.

Prediction 2:

With the backdrop of Web3, Open Source will prevail.

Earlier this week, I was discussing the effects that the move towards Web3 would have on Open Source communities with NearForm’s founder, Cian O’Maidin.

As we transition into the Web3 era, Open Source will play a leading role. The very nature of a decentralised web infrastructure provides an arena for Open Source projects to thrive and for online-first communities to embrace the Open Source proposition, with projects underpinned by collaboration and efficiency.

With Web3 opening the door even wider to community ownership, developers will be better primed than ever to reap the benefits of Open Source in the rollout of innovative projects. Fundamental to Web3 and Open Source is their shared building block nature, empowering developers to build solutions that dive straight into catering to end-user needs. The ability to provide the right end-user with the right solution is critical to delivering success. With the backdrop of Web3 fuelling the accelerated rise of Open Source, a widespread move by enterprise towards co-investing in open source product development or even adopting outcome-driven compensation is likely to follow suit, which leads me to my final prediction.

Prediction 3:

Enterprises move towards becoming venture capitalists in the world of product development.

Let me clarify what I mean by this statement: in 2022, I see enterprises taking a page out of the venture investment world’s book. VCs invest in companies and management teams, often in their early stage, using equity to align long-term incentives. Typically, the management team and employees of the company make below-market, in-year compensation with the “upside” being the value of the equity upon an IPO or acquisition.

In 2022, I see software product engineering firms beginning to work with enterprise clients similarly. Clients (the VC in this analogy) will seek to identify partners with strong management teams and a history of building and launching products that deliver market success.

Product design and engineering firms like NearForm will act as the startup, taking below-market fees to build the product and share in the performance once launched. This could come in the form of shared revenue or other outcome-driven compensation.

For enterprises willing to explore this approach, seeking out a partner with a delivery model that is product-centric and has the market evaluation, strategy, design, and development expertise to bring a successful product to market is critical to success.

A New Kind of Partnership

At NearForm, we offer a new kind of partnership combining product development and capability building to accelerate digital delivery for our clients.

We provide our clients with not only game-changing digital products, but also with the processes and skills needed to maintain the efficiencies brought on by digitalisation, developing new digital capabilities, upskilling teams, and driving continuous innovation.

To learn more about our work, visit our Client page.

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