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Citizen Development

How does Citizen Development Enhance Business Agility


Industries are keeping up with the fast-paced world and are digitizing operations to increase efficiency. IT and coding have been an integral part of business operations. However, with a recent shortage of skilled coders and developers, organizations are recognizing the importance of automation and are looking for ways to tackle this hurdle.

One solution is to go no-code. Citizen development can leverage no-code platforms to create and run business applications without hiring experienced coders and developers. Citizen development is a crucial step to keeping an organization agile, as it gives business users greater control over their functions and, in turn, reduces the burden on IT teams.

What is citizen development?

Citizen development is a business practice that enables non-technical users to create and manage business applications. The approach can eliminate business bottlenecks and push for a more efficient and intuitive app development process. The end result is that it can empower organizations to be more agile and responsive to change.

Gartner reports that no-code business apps are projected to grow to 22.6% compared to 2020. This totals around $13.8 billion in 2021 alone. Even though companies are implementing cost-optimization efforts, these organizations recognize how crucial it is to boost no-code adoption and citizen developers instead of relying only on IT professionals to use off-the-shelf tools or build business applications themselves.

Advantages of citizen development

Citizen development not only enables business users but makes them an active part in the evolution of the business as a whole. It offers organizations a whole host of advantages such as:

Shorter delivery time

In the traditional approach, business users would go to the IT team with their requirements. The IT team, in turn, would evaluate possible solutions, go back and forth with the pros and cons of each, and then decide on the best solution. Alternatively, they would take on app development themselves, making it a long-drawn process.

But with low code citizen development in the mix, the process of development and deployment is handled by business users themselves. This not only reduces delivery times but ensures a much simpler onboarding and learning curve.

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

Reduce dependence on IT staff

While citizen developers do the bulk of the development process, IT still needs to be available for fine tuning, fixing bugs, and making customizations. But considering their limited involvement, IT teams can focus on other business-critical tasks. This drastically reduces operational costs and frees up the IT team.

Customized business solutions

Certain business problems require specific solutions. These can range from a simple citizen automation process that pushes requests through a path or something more complex like sophisticated workflows with multiple conditions and approvals. But creating the appropriate solution needs to be done by those that understand it. Since citizen developers have a firm grip on the process and business operations, they can quickly create apps for specific business hurdles with the help of citizen developer tools.

How citizen development enhances business agility

There are several factors to keep in mind when adopting citizen development. As a project manager, you have to recognize that there will be benefits and limitations to adopting a no-code process for your company. Here are the most pertinent considerations:

It's better to stay on one platform

The success of citizen development hinges on having a robust solution with a user-friendly experience that non-technical personnel can use to deliver results. Even though there is a multitude of solutions that solve specific problems, it is highly recommended to use a single platform with the ability to solve multiple problems. This not only keeps costs in control but the intuitiveness to handle multiple problems within a single interface is advantageous.

Do not cut IT out completely

A limitation of citizen developers is they aren’t well-versed in troubleshooting or bugs that can turn up. While citizen development allows IT a lot more free time, it is not advisable to cut them out of the equation completely. They can still be an integral part of the process by staying involved with debugging, troubleshooting, maintenance, and customization.

Select a solution that fits your needs

Citizen development can be a transformative exercise. But it is only as effective as the platform you choose. The citizen development platform you pick should not only have the right set of features that accentuates the expertise of your citizen developers but should fit the needs of your business. Rather than pick an off-the-shelf solution, you’d rather select a tool that accommodates the nuances of your business operations while enabling growth and scalability.

Kissflow for citizen development

Citizen development enhances business agility and enables companies to democratize the digitalization of work processes. It is a more cost-effective, empowering strategy that can facilitate agile development for your organization.

Kissflow’s citizen development solution helps you drive citizen development—the platform comes with a robust set of features that helps you develop the applications you need without needing to know how to code.