Need for Speed in Application Development and Maintenance is Driving Adoption of Citizen Development, According to Second Annual Report
Citizen development continues to be a powerful change agent for organizations in 2016, according to the second annual State of Citizen Development Report. Business and IT are finding new ways to work together to reduce backlogs and deliver new and updated applications faster. As a result, organizations are reaping the benefits of workers and managers making better decisions faster through earlier access to business insights in dashboards and reports and automated process workflows.
Even organizations that have yet to take the plunge into citizen development are recognizing the business value of expanding the application development process to include engaged business professionals who know best what’s needed to digitally transform their organizations. These are the key takeaways of our second annual study on the state of citizen development.
What’s New in 2016
Part 1 of this year’s report, based on a comparison of customer surveys in 2016 and 2015, reveals growth in application builders, as well as a rise in application numbers and types tied to the use of our citizen development platform.
Organizations, on average, are seeing 38% growth in the number of citizen and IT developers building applications on the QuickBase platform in 2016 over last year. Citizen development platforms are enabling people primarily responsible for driving the business to contribute their knowledge of business data, processes and workflows to facilitate a faster and more cost-effective process for creating and maintaining custom applications. 76% of QuickBase builders now consider developing applications a part of their day job, up from 68% last year.
Reliance on a platform for building growing numbers and types of applications is enabling business teams to reduce the cost and complexity of managing many of the individual point solutions that were necessary before citizen development. On average, 11 point solutions are being replaced by custom applications built on a citizen development platform, up from 8 in 2015.
Citizen Development is Used for All Types of Applications
This finding is led by applications that are used to “get work done” in 65% of organizations, same as last year. The fastest growing types of applications relying on citizen development are customer-facing web and mobile applications which represented a big jump in 2016 to 35% of organizations, up from 27% in 2015. Use of citizen development for highly mission-critical and long-lived applications rose slightly to 45%, up from 42% in 2015.
No-code Development is Driving Faster Time to Market and Reduced Backlogs
Citizen development platforms are optimized for line of business professionals with Microsoft Excel and/or MS Access skills. As a result, 98% of QuickBase application builders use the platform for no-code development. This enables 53% of builders to build applications in less than 2 weeks on average. Top industries with higher than average numbers of builders whose apps are built in less than 2 weeks are Manufacturing, Energy & Utilities and Banking & Financial Services.
IT is embracing citizen development platforms to speed the creation and maintenance of applications. IT management recognizes the advantages of using a platform to offload a portion of its traditional application development workload to citizen developers, effectively reducing backlogs of unfulfilled requests by 65%. This both speeds up application development and frees up IT developer resources to focus on the organization’s most critical and demanding projects that often require traditional application development. A win-win situation for all, business application needs are met more quickly and efficiently, without IT having to hire additional pro developers who are expensive and hard to find.
IT and Business are Finding New Ways to Collaborate
IT and business are finding new collaborative models for application development. Business-led development, chosen 62% of the time, involves citizen developers in lines of business or central services teams building applications with help from IT as needed—often for security and integration. Balanced development, chosen 21% of the time, involves IT prototyping and iterating applications, while business contributes business logic, dashboards, reports, and workflows. IT-led development, chosen 17% of the time, involves IT developers quickly building applications that are then handed over to citizen developers who are empowered to make changes as their business needs evolve.
Non-customers are Seeking Alternatives to Traditional Development
Part 2 of the report, based on a survey of the general population of organizations that develop and use custom applications, reveals that 67% of traditional developers require more than two months on average to develop the first version of an application and 31% take more than 6 months (compared to less than 2 weeks for most QuickBase app builders as cited above). Simply maintaining or updating an existing application takes more than 2 months for 35% of traditional developers on average. These figures alone are reason enough why those using traditional application development processes are looking at citizen development with growing interest.
These organizations also appreciated that a single citizen development platform could enable them to address many different business challenges. On average organizations estimated that business developers could use such a platform to build and easily maintain 26 different types of applications, thus reducing the time and costs associated with purchasing and managing 26 point solutions.
Overall, the top motivators for considering alternatives to traditional development are the abilities to change and update applications faster, develop applications faster, and develop applications that better fit user needs.
2016 State of Citizen Development INFOGRAPHIC
To learn more about the reasons to start a citizen development program and ways successful companies are shedding a light on Shadow IT, download our eBook, An Introduction to Citizen Development: Bringing Shadow IT into the Light.