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What Competitive Advantage Do Companies Gain Out Of Citizen Development?

Team Kissflow

Updated on 11 Mar 2024 3 min read

In today’s business landscape, every forward-thinking business has to look for new strategies that help refine its processes and give them a competitive edge over other businesses competing in the same space.

At a time when every company is innovating digitally, rapid digital transformation can help keep you from falling behind in the battle to win customers and consolidate your share of the market. One of the key strategies that can help companies achieve this is the democratization of software development through citizen development.

What is citizen development?

Citizen development is an approach to application development that empowers employees who are not conventional IT professionals to act as developers. Citizen developers are non-IT employees who can leverage low-code technology and their knowledge of internal business processes to create applications for their business unit. Their familiarity with the business process allows them to deliver user-friendly solutions that solve problems perfectly.

While many organizations rely on their conventional IT teams to build and maintain the apps they need, many companies are starting to realize that empowering business users to stay involved in the development process leads to a new level of efficiency that ultimately provides a competitive advantage.

Citizen development lends a competitive edge

An organization’s ability to maximize its internal resources and existing competencies to drive desired results is one of the main factors that give them an edge over the competition. Many organizations today struggle to achieve results and suffer from massive technical debt due to the inability of their technical teams to keep up with digital transformation requirements.

In many cases, innovation projects that are supposed to improve internal productivity and help them stand out from the competition are often tied up in development because their conventional IT team is overwhelmed. It’ll take months or even years to achieve true digital transformation this way. By this time, the industry has probably moved on again with newer technologies and best practices.

This is where citizen development comes in. Citizen development makes it possible to relieve this growing pressure on IT departments by promoting a citizen development initiative. But that is just one of the benefits. Here are some more:

1. Meet the demand for apps

According to a report from Productiv[1], departments within an organization use as many as 200 apps to handle their day-to-day operations. The most digitally-equipped companies are naturally the most competitive ones. But traditional IT teams are often unable to meet up with the growing demand for apps while keeping up with their conventional responsibilities.

Citizen developers not only bridge the gap between demand and supply but enable the development and delivery of apps that help manage and streamline business processes.

Learn more: How Citizen Development Helps Build Technology Outside of IT

2. Increase agility

With the traditional development approach, app development can take weeks or even months. This means new ideas that could give your business a competitive edge can take a long time before they can be deployed. Empowering citizen developers to build enterprise-grade apps can reduce the wait time for new apps significantly.

With citizen development, business users can build apps quickly and deploy them rapidly allowing them to adapt to newer challenges.

Learn more: How Does Citizen Development Accelerate Business Sustainability?

3. Reduce costs

The traditional app development method is quite cost-intensive. Whether you’re hiring an in-house app development team or outsourcing the project it’ll cost a lot of money to have a working iteration of your app. Statistics say that citizen development allows you to leverage existing resources and employees instead of outsourcing work or hiring more developers.

This means you’ll spend less than your competitors on app development. No-code and low-code platforms allow you to create functional apps with less budget.

Learn more: How to Choose a Platform That Benefits Both IT and Citizen Developers

4. Increase productivity

The citizen development model makes employees more productive by solving specific problems and removing bottlenecks. This benefits the organization, its customers, and even the employees involved in citizen development. Since they’re more actively involved in the process of creating the apps they need, employees are typically more efficient and more engaged.

5. Free up resources

The current scenario has presently experienced a vast shortage of software developers and engineers. Organizations also suffer from being overrun by app development requests. LCNC and citizen development help to maximize your workforce and free up resources for other aspects of your business operations.

For Instance, IT teams that no longer have to focus on delivering apps can now focus their efforts on more technically complex, business-critical projects. In addition to that, citizen development eliminates the need to rely on large development teams to create the apps they need.

Learn more: How Low-Code And Citizen Development Simplify App Development


Despite efforts to keep up with growing demands, there’s a disparity between business needs and what traditional IT can deliver. Kissflow’s citizen development platform is a perfect solution for organizations looking to scale fast and achieve impressive results. The solution helps organizations foster collaboration, develop and deploy apps rapidly, and reimagine the way they work.