#1 – Mobile-first vs. mobile-friendly. Everyone knows mobile is the future of software. However, most software is still being developed for desktop users and then tweaked so that it’s “friendly” to mobile devices. To future proof your software, start by designing it for mobile devices and then tweak it so it’s “friendly” to desktop users.
#2 – Continuous deployment vs. version releases. The world today is moving faster than ever – and picking up speed. The result is that consumers have on-demand expectations and more options than ever to meet those expectations. If you aren’t releasing new features within days of knowing your customers want them, they’ll quickly move on to another solution. Customers value features, not releases.
#3 – Catalyst vs. king. For obvious reasons, “sticky” is a positive and value-creating asset for software. Many software companies attempt to engineer “stickiness” by making it extremely painful, if not impossible, for customers to leave (i.e. the King ruling over his subjects). The result is almost always a faltering company with unhappy subjects “stuck” to them. Building your software as a catalyst for success by allowing easy integrations and migrations is how modern software drives “stickiness” and, more important, happiness among their customers.
#4 – Knowledge vs. data. Big data was once the next big thing. As a result, software companies built robust data management and reporting into their software. Today, though, people are drowning in the data they invested heavily to get, realizing what they really wanted was knowledge. Transparently analyzing data and presenting users with conclusions based on that data (i.e. knowledge) is key to winning the future.