Unlocking the potential of using citizen developers in your business (2023)
Zell Dello Ioio
Head of Content

Unlocking the potential of using citizen developers in your business (2023)

Traditionally, IT expertise has been concentrated within specific trained roles, such as Software Developers. This has resulted in centralized IT departments where Software Developers are stationed to work on projects for the entire business. However, this concentrated approach has historically led to frustrations when various departments have to compete and wait for IT resources to deploy new solutions.

The rise of citizen development

To address this frustration, some employees have taken matters into their own hands and created their own tools to help their departments. This practice, known as "Shadow IT," includes tools like Slack and Notion. Initially frowned upon by traditional IT departments, many successful businesses have now formalized and incorporated Shadow IT into their pipelines. Citizen development is one such form of Shadow IT.

What is citizen development?

Citizen development is a process whereby regular employees use drag-and-drop no-code technology to create their own software, apps, or tools to help them with their work. It's like building your own toy with blocks of Lego, but instead of toys, you're building something on a computer! This can free up IT team resources to focus on larger projects.

Low and no-code development

Low/no-code development allows employees to build mobile or web apps and automations without the need to write code. This approach enables continuous improvement of customer processes without IT intervention and has become an essential part of effective Citizen Development.

Today, 60% of custom apps are being built outside of IT, with 30% being built by employees with limited or no technical development skills.

The potential of citizen development

The use of low/no-code tools to empower citizen developers can deliver significant cost and customer experience benefits to organizations. This approach reduces the costs of technology development, enabling smaller changes previously ignored due to a lack of obvious ROI. It also improves the efficiency of existing development teams and speeds up the deployment of solutions.

Additionally, employees are demanding tools that empower them to digitally transform their own work quickly, effectively, and continuously. The ability to get involved in citizen development is a game-changer for employee engagement and attracting new talent – allowing untapped potential to be unlocked in both people and operations.

Citizen development will soon become business as usual

We believe that low/no-code software solutions are here to stay, and citizen development will soon become standard practice across companies of all sizes. When used effectively and with the proper support in place, it has the power to unlock innovation, drive employee engagement, and be a core part of the digital transformation agenda.


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