What is Citizen Development?

May 18, 2021

The Movement Leaders Need on Their Radar

As leaders embrace digital transformation in their companies, they quickly realize this journey is not a ‘one and done’ approach. To remain competitive, a digital mindset, or culture, needs to be adopted. This digital mindset needs to be centered on continuous improvement in order to find opportunities within the business. With a shortage of software developers on the horizon2, integrating citizen development into business strategy can help with the success of a digital transformation journey.

What is a Citizen Developer?

A citizen developer is a person who isn’t a software developer or IT professional by trade; rather they are a subject matter expert  (SME). These SMEs are eager to marry data insights with their business understanding and a desire to problem solve. The result often involves reengineering processes in the business with digital solutions. It is a DIY development approach that empowers anyone to use low-code/no-code tools to build solutions and unlock value for the business. These solutions could include developing web, mobile, and back-office applications that are tailored to specific business needs.

Challenges IT Teams Face with Citizen Development

What we often see is that the IT Team has more than enough on their plates and lack the capacity to add custom development projects to their roles.  When in-house development falls to the IT group, what can happen is an inadvertent bottleneck due to competing IT priorities and daily troubleshooting exercises.

Decentralize Development with Low-Code/No-Code Tools

The beauty of a citizen development strategy is that the people who best know your business and processes are also designing the solution.  By strategically integrating IT approved citizen developer toolsets, with user-friendly, drag and drop interfaces, leaders can empower non-tech experts within the business to design custom solutions.

What to do if Citizen Developers Aren’t Available In-House?

Large enterprise organizations have an easier time integrating citizen development within their business. This is largely due to the pool of employees to draw from and the availability of extra training support. A small to medium-sized business (SMBs) may be challenged with fewer team members with broader specialty scopes. For SMBs, this is where a strategic technology partner, like Convverge, can help bring people and information together.  A digital tech partner knows how to quickly help organizations better understand the opportunities and can recommend the tools available to help build a modern digital business strategy that leads to success. Contact us today.

 

More Insights into Citizen Development

  1. The Low-Code/No-Code Revolution Organizations Should Go All In On (forbes.com)
  2. How To Harness Citizen Developers To Expand Your AD&D Capacity (forrester.com)
  3. The no-code approach to software development (information-age.com
  4. “Do it yourself” software development: the power is in your hands (Shell Global)