An App-Shaped World: Trends to Watch Out For in 2024

Arvind Mehrotra
5 min readMay 3, 2024

As we stand on the cusp of a new era of technological innovation, the landscape of application technologies will undergo a seismic shift. Between 2025 and 2030, your organisation’s ability to anticipate and capitalise on emerging trends will be pivotal in driving competitive advantage and fostering digital resilience.

Today, I’ll delve into the 11 trends that will shape the trajectory of software applications in the coming years.

1. AI-driven architectures

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to be the cornerstone of innovation, with AI-driven architectures poised to revolutionise how applications are designed, deployed, and managed.

From deep learning algorithms to reinforcement learning techniques, AI integration enables applications to adapt, optimise, and evolve in real-time, akin to neural networks rewiring themselves for enhanced performance.

2. Decentralised applications (DApps)

Blockchain technology has transcended its origins in cryptocurrency to herald a new era of decentralised applications (DApps). By leveraging distributed ledger technology with smart contracts, DApps offer unparalleled security, transparency, and autonomy, redefining how transactions and digital interactions will change within ecosystems.

Think of DApps as autonomous entities operating within a trustless environment governed by cryptographic consensus mechanisms.

3. Spatial computing

Spatial computing represents the convergence of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies, enabling applications to interact seamlessly with physical space and digital content.

Through advanced computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion techniques, spatial computing empowers applications to perceive, interpret, and interact with their surroundings in real time, akin to creating digital overlays that seamlessly blend with the physical world.

4. Federated learning

In the era of data privacy and regulatory scrutiny, federated learning emerges as a paradigm-shifting approach to collaborative machine learning.

By distributing model training across edge devices and federated servers, federated learning preserves data privacy while enabling the aggregation of insights from diverse sources. Picture it as orchestrating a global orchestra, where each instrument contributes to the symphony without revealing its notes.

5. Graph databases and knowledge graphs

Traditional relational databases are giving way to graphs and knowledge graphs, which excel at modelling complex relationships and semantic connections.

By representing data as interconnected nodes and edges, graph databases enable applications to uncover hidden patterns, infer contextual insights, and traverse vast information networks with unparalleled efficiency. Consider it as navigating a labyrinth of interconnected concepts, where every pathway leads to discoveries.

6. Microservices architecture

The shift towards microservices architecture continues to gain momentum. This architecture enables the decomposition of applications into modular, independently deployable services; otherwise, scalability and cost optimisation will suffer.

By embracing principles of loose coupling and service autonomy, microservices architecture enhances scalability, resilience, and agility, empowering development teams to iterate rapidly and respond to changing requirements. It’s like constructing a digital ecosystem akin to a Lego set, where each block represents a self-contained service that contributes to the larger whole.

7. Homomorphic encryption

As data becomes increasingly valuable and vulnerable, homomorphic encryption emerges as a transformative technique for preserving privacy in computational environments. By allowing computations on encrypted data without decrypting it, homomorphic encryption enables secure collaboration and analysis while mitigating the risk of unauthorised access. It’s akin to performing calculations on ciphertexts, unlocking insights without exposing the underlying data.

8. Event-driven architecture (EDA)

Event-driven architecture represents a paradigm shift in how applications respond to and process real-time events and stimuli.

By decoupling components and embracing asynchronous communication patterns, event-driven architecture enables applications to scale dynamically, process events in parallel, and adapt to changing environmental conditions with unparalleled responsiveness. Picture it as orchestrating a digital symphony, where each event triggers a harmonious cascade of actions and reactions.

9. Immutable infrastructure

In the pursuit of resilience and reliability, immutable infrastructure emerges as a guiding principle for application deployment and management. Organisations can eliminate configuration drift, minimise security vulnerabilities, and ensure consistent environments across development, testing, and production stages by treating infrastructure as code and enforcing immutable deployments. Consider it as sculpting a digital artefact from a block of marble, where every change is deliberate and irreversible.

10. Continuous verification and validation

The digital services era of continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) and constant verification and validation (CVV) are critical for ensuring application quality, security, and compliance throughout the software development lifecycle. By automating testing, code analysis, and compliance checks, CVV enables organisations to identify and mitigate risks early, accelerate time-to-market, and foster a culture of continuous improvement. It works like a digital fortress, where every brick undergoes rigorous scrutiny before fortifying the walls.

11. Hybrid cloud-native architectures

The hybrid cloud-native architecture represents a convergence of on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud services, enabling organisations to leverage the strengths of each environment while mitigating vendor lock-in and data sovereignty concerns.

By embracing containerisation, orchestration, and service mesh technologies, hybrid cloud-native architectures empower applications to scale seamlessly, optimise resource utilisation, and maintain operational consistency across heterogeneous environments. Imagine orchestrating a digital ballet, where workloads gracefully transition between on-premises and cloud environments without missing a beat.

In Summary

The journey towards 2030 will be one of unprecedented technological advancement and innovation. As stewards of digital transformation, it is incumbent upon you to embrace these 11 trends to chart a course towards a future defined by resilience, agility, and strategic foresight. If you are interested in this discussion area, I’d love to hear your insights at



Arvind Mehrotra

Board Advisor, Strategy, Culture Alignment and Technology Advisor