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2016 Trends in Software Development – A CTO’s Perspective

Elizabeth Xu
by Elizabeth Xu


I participated in a panel discussion on software development trends in 2016 with fellow engineering leadership at Oracle and Splunk. The event was hosted by Wipro’s software development leadership team and consulting firm Zinnov. We discussed software containers, open source, APIs, PaaS and SaaS platforms, and our views on what matters most for enterprise software development in the coming year.

In my opinion, software development has never been more critical to business today. Our customers are looking for a new approach to how we build software that enables them to #godigital. The end goal for my teams is as much a technical one as a pursuit of empowering people to do what they need to do faster and easier with a delightful user experience.

My team at BMC has adopted a SaaS-first, Mobile-first, and Persona-based design approach. We research each type of user and their usage patterns, so we can radically improve productivity and user experience. Our new approach to building software does pose some challenges. Take for example the impact of a mobile-first design principle, the screen is so small, far fewer fields are possible. We have to completely shift how we think about the user and the environment they are in.

The demand for consumerization means we incorporate personalization and persona-based design into the core of how we build enterprise software. Take for example solving the everyday problems of a nurse. It turns out that a nurse’s biggest technical challenge during the day can be finding a working printer. We learned this by getting closer to our customers as individual users and in the context of their business needs. We believe competitive advantage for enterprise software developers will come from a deeper understanding of the business usage and domain knowledge of our customers.

What’s coming next in software development in 2016 for my team?

  • Consumerization
  • Personalization
  • Mobile-First
  • SaaS-First
  • Deep Domain Knowledge on a Powerful Platform

Watch out for blogs on each of these topics and more in 2016.

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

About the author

Elizabeth Xu

Elizabeth Xu

Elizabeth Xu, Ph.D., is the global vice president of engineering for BMC’s service and support business. Dr. Xu is a seasoned business and technical leader with over 15 years of experience in software-as-a-service, big data and mobile enterprise software.