As the digitization of businesses is picking up, the demand for custom software has surged exponentially. Every industry relies heavily on various software technologies and eventually on software developers.
With increasing workload and burnt-out software developers, the demand-supply gap is widening. But thankfully, we have citizen developers to our rescue. Citizen developers are helping bridge the demand-supply gap of software developers.
Citizen developers develop software programs using low-code and no-code development tools but don’t have formal training in software development.
According to Gartner’s recent report, 61% of businesses have or plan to have active citizen development initiatives. To reap the benefits of citizen development, you need a citizen developer framework to guide your working environment, reduce risk factors and unlock the full potential of citizen development.
This article will shed light on the basics of citizen development and explore the opportunities it brings.
Table of Contents
What is Citizen Development?
Citizen development is the process that encourages non-technical users to build and develop custom software using IT-sanctioned low-code/no-code (LCNC) platforms.
This low-code/no-code platform simplifies the app development process of the user by allowing them to let go of the hand-coding skills like a professional developer. Rather it enables the user to perform block-based programming with simple drag-and-drop icons to create and update the software application.
In short, citizen developers are part of the organization looking for the easiest solution to their problem and taking advantage of new tools and technologies to solve their issues themselves.
Gartner predicts that by 2024, three-quarters of large leading businesses will be using at least four low-code development tools for IT application development.
Citizen Development vs. Traditional Development
Citizen development helps form a bridge between business and IT by enabling them to work collaboratively. Not only does this amplify productivity, but it also takes off some burden from the already overburdened IT teams.
Here are a few fundamental features that differentiate citizen development and traditional development:
|Characteristic||Citizen Development||Traditional Development|
|Collaboration||More collaboration||No scope of collaboration|
|Technical Knowledge||No Technical Knowledge Required||Knowledge of coding languages along with formal training|
|Method of Development||Uses low-code/no-code tools||Uses manual coding|
|Cost||Normal cost as it makes use of default tools||Expensive as the development is done from scratch|
|Speed||Faster development||Slow development|
Citizen development is here and will continue to grow in scale as technology upgrades and businesses become more collaborative. Therefore, companies must balance the sustainability and speed of citizen developers’ targeted creation and oversight that professional developers provide.
How Citizen Development Benefits Your Business?
Using citizen development, IT domains can effectively build solutions that meet their expectations faster and require less rework. Every business can benefit by introducing citizen development to their team regardless of their size and scale.
This shift towards increasing productivity and efficiency can have a far-reaching impact on the forward-thinking and digitally active workforce. Business users better understand their business and the vision they want to build. With low code development, they can work closely with the IT team and bridge the gap between different schools of thought.
There are numerous benefits of citizen development. We have addressed some of them below:
1. Address the shortage of software developers
According to Forrester’s research, it is predicted that by 2024, the U.S. will have a deficit of 500,000 software developers. In such situations, companies can leverage their employees’ skill set by introducing citizen development and addressing the challenges of business users to build apps that solve their immediate problems.
2. Enables Business Agility
Businesses are changing faster than technology, and hence companies are looking for the method to pivot quickly with the new demands of the market. Citizen development enables the business teams to rapidly adapt and evolve with their work and discover new opportunities.
3. Increase productivity and efficiency
With the help of citizen development, applications can be developed faster, saving time and money for the software development process. When citizen developers build their applications, they help the company save time on operational costs and help to reduce the IT backlog.
4. Govern shadow IT
With the help of a citizen development program, all those must-have software are built on IT-approved platforms, enabling the business’s visibility and control in maintaining and monitoring quality.
Citizen development creates an employee community that shares resources and development tools. Hence, it reduces the requirement of professional developers and their related expenses, eventually saving development costs and increasing the technical understanding of every citizen developer.
Picking the right tool and technology is the critical component to the success of citizen development. Utilizing the low-code/no-code tools can help your business speed up the digital transformation and ensure the creative solution for your unique problems.
Maruti Techlab has worked with clients worldwide in building and shipping products faster using low code no code technology. Whether you want to validate your idea through an MVP or scale your product, we do it all. If you, too, want to reduce your time to market and validate your idea quickly, reach out to our software prototyping experts.