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What is Citizen Development?

Citizen development is the enterprise practice of business professionals, not trained in a technology discipline, to build, deploy and continuously improve applications critical to their business in a secure, controlled and disciplined manner that is sanctioned and governed by IT.

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Defining Citizen Development

We like to think of Citizen development more broadly than just building applications. As areas of software development and software engineering become more accessible to business users, you’ll often hear about Citizen Integrators and Citizen Data Scientists and more generally Citizen IT.

We view Citizen development broadly as business users creating, integrating and iterating data-driven solutions that enable anyone to surface important business insights.

What are the benefits of citizen development?

Adapt Faster

Organizations, agencies and enterprises need to be ready to quickly adapt to new requirements and demands. With the pace of change being faster than ever, every organization must focus on business agility—with citizen development at its foundation.

Outpace Traditional Methods

The traditional methods of IT application development cannot keep pace with today’s rapidly changing business environment. Every business is becoming a digital business where every unique workflow needs to be automated, measured and continually improved.

Empower the Experts

Giving the power to produce solutions to those closest to the work, results in better customer experience and efficiency. Also, this reduces the pressure on IT, allowing those teams and resources to focus on mission critical projects.

Respond to Change Quickly

Citizen development helps organizations improve speed, agility and transparency by making it possible to continuously adapt their operations and projects to constantly changing workflow requirements and data needs.

Combat Shortage of Developers

There will never be enough trained software developers to meet demand. As industry analyst firm Forrester says, ‘we need more hands and minds building business applications’.

Who is a citizen developer?

Typically, a citizen developer is anyone outside of IT who is building business applications in addition to their full-time responsibilities. Citizen developers are not professional IT application developers and typically do not have formal software development training.

Successful citizen developers tend to have backgrounds in areas like business analysis, project management, engineering, operations and think in logical terms.

Some organization are beginning to integrate citizen development into roles and teams. Key benefits to the business are: better ROI on application resources because of the high cost specialized IT developers and a more agile business because of the increase in resources that can develop solutions.

Citizen developers using low code

How can companies enable citizen development safely and sustainably?

Citizen development is a practice that unites IT and business teams. It involves people, process and technology. Companies enable citizen development safely and sustainably by putting in place processes, controls, practices and centers-of-excellence for governing and growing citizen development across the company.

IT Professional Using Low-Code

Some Considerations Are:

  • What kinds of business applications require IT involvement, and which don’t?
  • How and when does IT need to partner more closely with citizen developers?
  • How do citizen developers get access to the data they need from existing systems?
  • What certification do business users need to become citizen developers?
  • How do we ensure data security and privacy requirements are met?
  • What application and data management standards must be put in place?
  • How does IT control and monitor the applications built by citizen developers?
  • How do citizen developers support one another?

Many companies have done this successfully and many more now realize it is the only way to keep pace in today’s economy.

Citizen Development Resources

Accelerating Digital Transformation with Citizen Development

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.

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Government response meeting laptop

Accelerating Digital Transformation with Citizen Development

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.

Learn More doublechevronCreated with Sketch.

Breaking Down the Barriers of Citizen Development

As more businesses begin to embrace citizen development here is a look back at an October 2015 interview with Mark Driver, a Research Vice President in Gartner’s Technology and Service Provider division, on how to enable citizen development in your organization.

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App Developer

Breaking Down the Barriers of Citizen Development

As more businesses begin to embrace citizen development here is a look back at an October 2015 interview with Mark Driver, a Research Vice President in Gartner’s Technology and Service Provider division, on how to enable citizen development in your organization.

Learn More doublechevronCreated with Sketch.

The ROI of Low-Code Platforms with Citizen Development

Whether you're in IT, business operations, or some other part of the business tasked with driving operational efficiency, elements of "Lean" thinking likely characterize at least some aspects of how you currently solve problems and accelerate digital transformation across your organization.

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Mobile ready apps

The ROI of Low-Code Platforms with Citizen Development

Whether you're in IT, business operations, or some other part of the business tasked with driving operational efficiency, elements of "Lean" thinking likely characterize at least some aspects of how you currently solve problems and accelerate digital transformation across your organization.

Learn More doublechevronCreated with Sketch.

3 Steps for Making Citizen Development A Success

Companies that decide to proactively embrace Citizen Development as a strategy can't just say "let's do it" and allow things to run amok. Setting the foundation before forging ahead will help them use citizen developers to further the goals of the company and embrace the needs of the employees.

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Process Workflow Automation Team

3 Steps for Making Citizen Development A Success

Companies that decide to proactively embrace Citizen Development as a strategy can't just say "let's do it" and allow things to run amok. Setting the foundation before forging ahead will help them use citizen developers to further the goals of the company and embrace the needs of the employees.

Learn More doublechevronCreated with Sketch.