The 2020s, start of a new decade, is poised to replicate the exciting and revolutionary atmosphere of the 1920s. At this point, the fate of a new decade is anybody’s guess. But in the year 2020, there will be significant changes in the software world that will revolutionize the way business and its customers, developers, and employees experience technology. Software technology will become more accessible, personal, and value-based.

Here are our top five predictions for 2020:

1. 2020 is the year of experience

Digital Dragons such as Google and Amazon are disrupting nearly every industry. As non-tech companies look to address these threats, they will increasingly turn towards technology-driven customer experience as a differentiator. Customers expect effortless and compelling engagements that flow seamlessly across multiple experiences and will reward those organizations that deliver them. As consumers move from digital experiences that “save time” to digital experiences that are “time well-spent,” mobile and web apps will no longer be “good enough” for customer service and capturing new revenue streams. Users will expect compelling native mobile interactions, tailored to the experience, that leverage capabilities like conversational UI (chat and voice), augmented reality, and more. 2020 will be the year customer experience becomes a CEO-level concern. A well-thought-out experience across channels will be the best strategy.

2. Multi-cloud will be every cloud

In 2020 the mindset of large enterprises will shift from a multi-cloud approach to an “every” cloud strategy. IaaS and PaaS have long been commoditized. The real value offered by providers like AWS, Azure, and Google lies in their highly specialized and differentiated services offered. Serverless, specialized hardware (TPUs, ARM), and massively scalable databases characterize a shift to higher-order and durably differentiated services on top of traditional cloud offerings. To unlock competitive advantage through these unique offerings enterprises will soon become customers of multiple cloud providers – every cloud. Truly portable, cloud-agnostic solutions are already mandatory, but the future of enterprise cloud spend will capitalize on the software vendors that provide the best of breed specialized services across every cloud.

3. New use cases for AI-assisted development will emerge

In 2020, the use cases for Artificial Intelligence (AI)-assisted development will evolve to further augment developer capabilities. AI is already being applied to several different areas in app development, such as testing, coaching new developers, and replacing redundant tasks for experienced developers. In 2020, vendors will invest heavily in research and development of new creative use cases for AI across the app development life cycle to create higher-quality software. This will occur in a variety of ways, for example, using AI to design an improved user interface, to guide developers to best-practices architecture, and to anticipate complex logic patterns in collaboration with professional developers.

4. Low-code becomes the default for new revenue-driving applications

Enterprises have relied on low-code for operational efficiency and portal applications for several years, but in 2020 we will see the centrifugal effect of low-code on two other areas: customer engagement applications that will drive revenue and applications that extend mission-critical core systems. Organizations have begun discovering that the business involvement, quick iteration, and multi-experience capabilities necessary to deliver consumer-grade revenue-driving applications are best served from an enterprise low-code platform. The maturity of enterprise low-code application platforms has reached the tipping point to deliver these types of applications consistently. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity.

5. Citizen integrators take center stage to make data more accessible

After years of integration backlogs becoming increasingly long and unmanageable, people outside of central IT integration teams will work to solve enterprise-wide data discovery and exploration issues by leveraging a new breed of data management and integration tools. These tools will enable developers, business analysts, and core business subject matter experts to directly find data and incorporate them into their daily workflows, essentially making them citizen integrators. The change to citizen integration will be driven through tools that enable decentralized delivery without compromising global management. Organizations that develop a mindset of true democratized integration are taking the first steps toward what Gartner terms the Composable Enterprise and will drive the most quantifiable value.

Read Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms to learn how low-code is transforming application development.