5 Software Development Trends for 2023 and Why You Should Adopt Them


2023 is proving to be a tough year for organizations across the globe. Galloping interest and inflation rates and the adoption of cost prevention management policies have made the headlines in the first weeks of the year.

With a new year and an uncertain economic climate, businesses are looking for pragmatic technology that can help them save costs and develop, adapt, and scale innovations fast.

But with technology evolving more rapidly than ever, what software development trends should you bet on in 2023 to help you cope with all this uncertainty?

What’s Expected from CEOs in 2023?

Before diving in, it’s useful to understand what macro trends and focus areas are shaping CEOs and CIOs business strategies.

  • Great employee experiences are critical for hybrid-working: according to Gartner, employee experiences have made the top of the list of CEOs strategic priorities — surpassing customer experience for the first time. High turnovers have come to stay — in IT and beyond — yet specialized talent continues to be hard to find. This is forcing CEOs to shift their focus to deliver innovative internal solutions in order to reduce costs and make employees more efficient and motivated.
  • Increased productivity for increased resilience: as inflation cuts into profit margins, organizations need to accelerate development and iteration in key areas like user experience and customer experience. Among these are bottom-line impacting apps, the ability to embed observability in journeys to learn what’s more actionable or impactful, and tools that allow for faster experimentations, analytics, and innovation delivery cycles.
  • DevSecOps imperatives require new platform engineering: as cyberattacks become more pervasive and sophisticated amid a continued shortage of cybersecurity talent, companies must look to their technology investments to strengthen their security posture and help everyone in the organization operate more securely.
  • Profitability and SaaS spending: SaaS spending exploded during the pandemic years, and companies shifted spending away from IT budgets to business functions and users. But a Gartner forecast predicts the pendulum will swing back, with IT spending poised to grow by more than 5% in 2023, with above-average growth forecasted for enterprise application software. This shift from external to internal solutions will support greater revenue and cost-savings, as well as a rebalance of IT budgets to raise performance and accelerate time to value.

Based on the business priorities for 2023, we predict 5 corresponding software development trends that will address these needs.


#1 Build-not-buy digital journeys

It’s no longer useful for companies to buy their way into innovation. Time-to-market has decreased exponentially, and companies need to learn and iterate fast.

Organizations are finding that the old way of buying pre-packaged software lacks the agility and observability they need to be productive and people-centric.

A change to a build-first approach means you can get to market as fast or faster, but with one critical difference: the ability to rapidly iterate.

When you have the ability to learn what is or isn’t working with users (whether partners, customers, or employees), you can make improvements quickly and conquer market share by removing friction from the internal or external user experience.

#2 SaaS optimization

We've reached the point where the average midsize company has nearly 240 apps in their portfolio — a sprawl of tools that’s neither user friendly nor cost effective.

Close management and an analysis of who is using these tools will be an area of focus as companies look to counter the costs of inflation in 2023.

SaaS optimization will include automated SaaS discovery, detection of underused tools, and elimination of duplicate functionality. These software trends will help businesses satisfy two fundamental requirements: save money by increasing profitability and boost employee satisfaction.

#3 Cloud-native platform engineering

The deadly combo of developer shortage and cost management are the biggest hurdles to productivity. So organizations need to find a way to maximize their developer productivity, and that’s why a platform engineering approach is on the rise.

Instead of creating each project from scratch, and having teams solely dedicated to one project at a time, we’re seeing a shift from project to product mentality.

In this scenario, development teams have access to reusable components that are managed, versioned, and curated to ensure they’re meeting the most stringent non-functional requirements like security and scalability by a platform engineering team.

Digital teams creating applications to end-users (be it customer, employee or partner-facing) can discover and consume those reusable components, accelerating development and go-to-market exponentially while also ensuring consistency across the application portfolio.

This way, organizations can deploy applications and changes multiple times a day, becoming true high-performance organizations, like leading cloud-native companies such as Netflix or Uber.

#4 Security automation

In today’s highly volatile cybersecurity landscape, there’s no room for a weak link in your software development lifecycle and toolchains.

And this is where your app development platform can help — by mitigating risks with security automation embedded along all stages of the SDLC, all the time. Ensuring a secure dev environment can be supported by a combination of ongoing software security trends, including:

  • A zero-trust approach for all new application creation
  • A managed software supply chain for open source traceability
  • Development platforms that enforce DevSecOps across all stages of the software development lifecycle
  • High-performance platforms that enable code scanning.

#5 AI-augmented development

AI-augmented development is the trend that will supercharge your software development teams – allowing them to work smarter and more productively, not harder, and with security embedded every step of the way.

AI built into the software development life cycle ensures high standards for code design, architecture, security, performance, and code maintainability but can be performed in a fraction of the time of traditional development.

This will enable your team to innovate like a tech giant with speed, security, and scalability.

Leading IT practitioners are putting many of these emerging trends in software development into practice in response to today’s most pressing business imperatives.

Tune in to our on-demand webinar to find out what steps IT leaders — including Gen-Re’s Head of Rapid Delivery Services, Ragupathi Srinivasan, and OutSystems CIO, Tiago Azevedo — are taking now to be more innovative, improve efficiency, and operate more securely in 2023.