Software development in 2023 is driven by the metaverse


Software is an expression of business. To achieve this expression, developers face a sea of ​​constant opportunities and challenges. For every API champion exiting the enterprise, there is a security threat to citizen development at the permit level. Despite all the progress made in value stream management, little progress has been made in metaverse API standards. Software development is a continuous set of ups and downs that people have to navigate, whether they are professional developers or citizens.

In 2022, we predicted that event-driven architecture would take over, that mobile development environments would increasingly support web runtimes, that development teams would move to toolchains consolidated DevOps, that development tools would be enhanced by AI, and that collaborative work management would go beyond strategic portfolio management. These predictions have largely come true.

In the software development of 2023, we foresee rougher seas. The waves will crash high (business goals will drive API efforts) and low (for all the efforts to create standards, some areas of development will just be too nascent). In particular, we anticipate the following:

  • Citizen development will lead to a security breach. Citizen development has shifted from experimentation to replacement for core applications, with 39% of enterprises currently using low-code to empower developers outside of IT, and 27% planning to do so within the next 12 months. However, this influx of new developers has led to a critical mass of professionals mastering application security, secure coding, and data sensitivity. For this reason, we expect a widely reported security flaw to be borne by citizen development in 2023. To prevent this, platform and low-code security teams should work together to review roles, configure security guardrails and implement a governance policy specifically built around citizen development.
  • More than 40% of API strategies will be driven by business leaders rather than IT. APIs are the interconnections for digital businesses and yet, until recently, they were largely driven by IT concerns rather than the businesses that depend on them the most. Fortunately, this is changing as companies recognize that the greatest value of APIs lies in enabling new products, business models, and channels. We predict that by 2023, instead of CIOs or IT managers, API strategy champions will emerge among business leaders such as CEOs and boards. While not quite a majority, we expect leaders in industries such as manufacturing, retail, automotive, energy and others to recognize that ‘they need a cohesive API strategy driven not by technology, but by their business needs.
  • API standards will remain a mess despite the best efforts of the Metaverse Standards Forum. The metaverse promises to change the way customers interact with digital business. However, we are still only in the very early days of its development, and it relies on proprietary precursors that do not easily talk to each other. The Metaverse Standards Forum, formed in 2022, attempts to facilitate this. Although they do not implement any standards themselves, they will rely on over 500 core members and 1,000 participating members to submit standards for adoption. Unfortunately, without consistency – and with a noticeable lack of Apple in the Forum (due to release its XR device in 2023) – things will continue to rely more on de facto standards like the Unity and Unreal engines.

Excited to hear what 2023 has in store for all types of developers – traditional, citizen and otherwise? Read our full Software Development Forecast 2023 report for more details on each of these forecasts, plus two other bonus forecasts. Host a Forrester orientation session to discuss these forecasts or plan your growth strategy for 2023.

If you’re not a customer yet, you can download our free Predictions Guide, which covers our top predictions for 2023. Get additional free resources, including webinars, on the Predictions 2023 hub.


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