Leveraging citizen development can dramatically accelerate an organization’s drive toward digital transformation by empowering and enabling problem-solvers in both the business and IT to create cloud applications all without writing a single line of code.
The emergence of citizen development within organizations has marked a paradigm shift in how the business and IT can work together to build, customize and connect applications to achieve collective business goals.
But what exactly do we mean by digital transformation and who are citizen developers? More importantly, what impact do they have on organizations?
Organizations are reimagining and redesigning business processes – from the industrial age to the early Internet era – as a result of new technologies and their adoption among a growing number of businesses. From paper and snail mail to spreadsheets and email, organizations are finding new approaches to create structure around workflows and optimize processes with technology.
As a result, every business, from pizza chains to healthcare systems, is now a software business.
Cloud applications – and the platforms for building them – are increasingly leaned upon as drivers of digital transformation, with the ultimate aim of increasing operational efficiency, business agility, and employee productivity.
In particular, as highlighted in a 2015 report, 76 percent of our survey respondents said operational efficiency is the primary reason that their organizations use low-code rapid development platforms like Quick Base for digital transformation.
In our view, citizen developers are empowered problem-solvers from the various lines of business who have the drive and determination to engage in application development, even though they lack traditional coding skills with popular programming languages.
Citizen development is a function of a growing spirit of collaboration between business users and internal IT, who historically were once much less aligned.
With true low-code platforms for rapid application development, citizen developers are often self-serving their teams’ and/or their own requests—with IT’s guidance as an expert partner in applications architecture, governance and controls to reduce risk.
Citizen Development and Digital Transformation
Citizen developers are using low-code platforms to solve problems across myriad digital transformation use cases.
And citizen developers aren’t just building one-off point solutions to solve their own problems; in many cases, they’re building multiple applications as parts of connected ecosystems of apps to help solve problems across different functional groups.
On average, our 2015 survey respondents said that eight different point solutions were required to replace low-code platforms used by citizen developers.
Needless to say, there is a compelling ROI case for organizations leveraging low-code platforms that enable citizen developers.