The Future of Digital Product Development: Predictions and Trends

by Paresh Khandelwal

Staying competitive in today’s business world is becoming increasingly difficult. After all, customers’ demand for sustainability and customized experiences is only growing. In addition, new technology is developing at a pace most businesses find hard to keep up with. A significant part of delivering excellent customer experiences is developing digital products or applications that meet customer demands and simplify internal business operations. 

That said, digital product development is quick-changing, and keeping up with the trends can be challenging. Today’s guide explores the 2023 trends in digital application development and how they can help your business grow. 

Let’s get into the top trends in digital product development this year. 

1. AI Will Be the Main Character in Most Digital Products

We’ve already seen the explosion of AI use in business with the speedy advancement of generative AIs such as ChatGPT, DALL·E, and Midjourney. As the year progresses, more companies will integrate AI into their digital products. Additionally, the main goal of this integration is to improve customer services, power market research, and automate monotonous business tasks. For instance, many companies will use AI to power chatbots to provide more humane and relevant responses. 

Robotic processing automation(RPA) is another AI subset to be on the lookout for. RPA relies on software robots to perform repetitive data entry tasks at incredible speeds. Research by Intelligence Automation Network also shows that 35% of companies plan to adopt RPA in 2023. RPA adoption will help companies reduce errors in processes and increase efficiency. 

2. Blockchain Use in Applications to Enhance Security and Transparency

Despite some bad rap like crypto winter, blockchain technology is still strong. More companies will jump on board in 2023 and beyond by making blockchain a part of the technology used in their digital products. In addition, the blockchain services market is set for growth. The Business Research Company expects this market to grow to $4.7 billion in 2023. 

In 2023, digital products will rely on blockchain technology to increase supply chain transparency and cyber security and create customer loyalty programs. Most companies will jump on the blockchain wagon specifically for distributed ledger capabilities. This technology enables stakeholders to have simultaneous access. It also validates and updates records immutably.

digital application development

3. Infusion of VR 

The global VR market is predicted to grow to $252 billion in 2023. As this market expands, we expect to see more digital products infusing VR into development. 

Specifically, digital product development will use VR to create immersive customer experiences. More companies will use VR to create or enhance virtual in-store experiences. For example, Premise LED uses VR to show clients the before and after of implementing LED lights. 

VR will also be greatly utilized in employee training, primarily in healthcare, engineering, and defense. For example, oil company ExxonMobil uses VR to train employees on emergency exit protocols. 

4. Digital Twins to Merge Digital and Physical Products

The concept of digital twins has been around for decades. However, the high costs and limited technology infrastructure prevented businesses from fully utilizing this technology. 

In 2023, more businesses will be equipped to create digital twin products or systems. The advancements of other technologies such as IoT, metaverse, and cloud, made this possible. 

This year we expect to see more businesses create replicas of their physical products and systems— digital twins— to uncover risks and opportunities. The biggest beneficiaries will be manufacturing,  healthcare, education, and construction. 

The development of digital twin products will focus on improving the interactions with this technology. For example, more focus will be on creating immersive visualization technology. 

5. Designing for Sustainability 

Another prominent theme in 2023 will be creating planet and people-friendly digital products. This year, consumers will be keener on the sustainability and eco-consciousness of the digital products they subscribe to. This demand from customers will lead to more businesses investing in sustainable digital product development. 

Sustainability is a vast topic, so where should you focus first?

Tim Frick, in his book, Designing for Sustainability: A Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services, recommends companies cover four sustainability categories in digital product development.

  • Hosting; does renewable energy power your servers?
  • Performance; how quickly can end-users download assets from your site?
  • Content findability: how quickly can end users find and access content
  • User experience: how efficient is the process of completing a task on your site? In addition, does your site help users make better sustainability choices?
application design and product development

6. Cyber Security Will Continue to Be a Priority in Digital Application Development 

Technology in 2023 will advance by leaps and bounds. However, cyber attacks will also be off the charts. In fact, by the end of 2023, cyber crimes will cost the world $8 trillion in losses. Cybercriminals are orchestrating sophisticated hacks, and it has gotten worse with the advancement of AI. For instance, most hackers now use AI to automate finding and taking advantage of digital product vulnerabilities. 

Cyber security will take a front-row seat in product development to counteract such instances. Companies will use AI and blockchain to enhance the safety of their digital products. More importantly, digital products will be set up in ways that strengthen the capabilities for recovery. 

7. More Product Customizations

In 2023, many companies will emphasize digital product customization to help their products stand out from competitors. Application design and development will feature unique and bolder layouts, elements, and iconography. Of course, companies will also be big on streamlined user experiences within a digital app. 

8. Rise of Superapps

Among the top predictions to expect in digital product development is the emergence of super apps. According to Gartner, 50% of the global population will be active users of super apps. 

A super app is built as a platform that supports various mini-apps. Users can then choose the mini apps to activate and which to remove. Super apps support an organization’s goal of building a composable business. They also help your business continually improve the customer experience by prioritizing convenience. 

Most of the super apps developed will focus on financial services, delivery services, e-commerce, social features, and messaging. Currently, super apps are most common in Asia and Africa, but we’ll see this emerging technology seep into the Western world. In addition, two-thirds of respondents in a recent survey by Paypal and PYMNTS, of 10,000 respondents in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Australia, are interested in super apps. 

Companies that use super apps will create more opportunities to extend convenience to employees, partners, and customers. Current super app examples include WeChat, Alipay, and Rappi. 

digital product development

9. Multi-Cloud Architecture in Cloud-Based Digital Products

Cloud application development was a big trend in 2022. However, as 2023 progresses, we expect more cloud-based products to take advantage of the multi-cloud architecture. 

Multi-cloud architecture is a technology where a business distributes workflows and software to different cloud platforms or providers. This technology approach drives better disaster recovery and resilience. It also reduces business continuity risks thanks to additional backups and quick recovery capabilities. 

Cloud application development services will be focused on simplifying and integrating fragmented cloud infrastructure to work seamlessly. 

10. Use of Headless Architecture Models

Headless architecture is another trend that will continue into 2023. This architecture decouples the front end from the back end. Doing so enables content to be published and scaled to any channel on the front-end side. 

This architecture will continue to grow at an impressive rate in 2023, thanks to its many benefits. Specifically, businesses utilizing the headless architecture in digital products will experience greater flexibility and speed. 

The eCommerce application development sector is the biggest adopter of headless architecture, but we might see other sectors taking up this technology. For example, with Custom WordPress Development, you can make your WordPress company website headless. 

Business Wire predicts the headless architecture model will grow to $1,628.6 million by 2027 from $328.5 million in 2019. 

11. More Investment in User Privacy 

2023 will see various privacy regulations, including the following, take root:

  • California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA)- January 1, 2023
  • Colorado Privacy Act (CPA)- July 1, 2023 
  • Utah Consumer Privacy Act- December 31, 2023
  • Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act- January 1, 2023

Introducing privacy regulations will force more companies to invest in privacy technologies. Companies will also be required to be more transparent about how their digital products collect and use data. 

Many companies will develop self-service transparency portals within digital products to make these changes. Gartner predicts that by 2023, 30% of consumer-facing organizations will have such portals. 

Wrapping Up 

2023 will continue to bring significant changes in digital application development. Businesses seeking to improve customer experiences and internal company operations must keep a digital-first, customer-first, and sustainable approach to the products they develop. 

More importantly, businesses must partner with a reliable company to deliver such products. Practical Logix is one such company. We are a leading digital transformation services provider that can help you develop digital products that enhance customer experiences and business operations. Some of our services include Custom WordPress Development,  Cloud Application Development, Digital Transformation Services, and more. 

Contact Practical Logix today to learn how we can help you keep up with digital application development trends. 

Paresh Khandelwal is a PMP Certified seasoned Technical Project Manager at Practical Logix. With his exceptional quality of maintaining client relationships helps to strengthen the bond between our Clients and us. He has a business first mindset which in-turn leads to a keen eye for the budget and revenue and Quality control for the projects. Being a CSM he follows the agile methodology which is an asset to keep us in line with the current trends in Project Management, along with the traditional Waterfall model.

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