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How Does Citizen Development Accelerate Business Sustainability and Agility?

Team Kissflow

Updated on 15 Jul 2024 4 min read

A lack of adaptability is one of the key reasons why many businesses are not sustainable. Present-day digital businesses need to respond actively to changes in requirements and landscapes in order to survive. Businesses that fail to keep up with new technological trends tend to perish really quickly.

Why is it important to build business sustainability?

Forward-thinking modern businesses are always on the lookout for ways to modernize legacy processes using new digital technology tools. However, even with a vibrant IT team, the process of building apps that accelerate inefficient workflows and streamline processes can take a long time. Organizations that rely on this conventional approach are often less flexible to industry changes and are easily outcompeted.

According to one report, 72%[1] of IT leaders admit that they’re unable to work on strategic projects that would have given them an edge due to project backlogs. IT departments in most organizations can hardly keep up—they’re constantly short of skilled hands and are left to deal with multiple app requests from various business units at the same time.

What role does citizen development play here?

That’s where citizen development comes in. Citizen developers are non-IT employers. It is not a separate role or new position within your organization. Rather, they’re everyday employees who have been trained to use no-code and low-code development platforms to build citizen developer apps that help to enhance internal processes, streamline workflows, and improve overall efficiency.

Citizen development takes the responsibility of developing digital tools and IT infrastructure from the hands of traditional application developers. Instead, it empowers business users with no professional IT skills to design, build, deploy, and maintain the digital tools they need using IT-sanctioned no-code and low-code citizen development platforms. This approach shortens the time needed to digitize processes quite dramatically and boosts the sustainability of businesses in different ways.

How citizen development helps to build sustainability

In light of the fast-paced and highly competitive digital business landscape available today, companies are turning to citizen development as a way to maintain their agility and keep up with the demands of the rapidly evolving market. The following are some of the ways the citizen development model helps to build business sustainability:




Bridge the gap between demand and supply of digital technology

In the contemporary business world, everyone is working towards transforming their businesses one way or another. According to Gartner, up to 91 percent[2] of businesses today are involved in some form of digital initiative or the other. The race to build the most efficient business operations with streamlined processes and efficient workflows is on and you’ll need a lot of software to keep up.

The citizen development approach allows you to get a more hands-on deck as far as building apps is concerned. Empowering business users with low-code and no-code platforms helps you to build the software solutions you need faster than ever without overburdening your IT team.

Learn more: How Citizen Development Unites Business and IT

Empower business users to build the solutions they need

In addition to being slow, the traditional method of developing software solutions may not be the most efficient. Having a separate team of people create software for another group of people often means you’ll end up with a solution that isn’t optimized for its purpose. IT teams no matter how good they are still have limited knowledge of the business problems they’re trying to build for.

A more efficient approach is to let people who understand the process themselves build the tools they need to get the job done. They’ll most likely do a better job and build apps that are custom-suited for the use cases they have in mind. The best application is one that is built with an in-depth understanding of its intended usage, the people it serves, and the flow of work that drives it.

Learn more: How to Help your Citizen Developers Get Started in 2024

Keep up with the market pace

If you wait too much time on developing an innovative product, it’ll probably hit the market months after others in your industry have deployed and started using it. Tech growth these days is faster than ever and it may be impossible to keep up with transforming your digital workplace if you stick to the traditional way.

Citizen development has now made it possible to circumvent the bottleneck and deliver tech products that drive disruptions at the perfect time. Enabling process experts outside the conventional IT department to be in charge of building their tech makes your business more ready to adapt to challenges and scale faster than ever.

Learn more: How Does Citizen Development Facilitate Digital Transformation?

Cut costs while achieving optimal results

One of the biggest challenges of building solutions the traditional way is that it isn’t entirely monetarily efficient. Citizen developers are the perfect way to create apps that serve a specific purpose using limited, in-house resources.

LCNC platforms that support citizen development initiatives are designed to be straightforward for anyone to use. You can use a single platform to build multiple mission-critical applications at a time instead of relying on multiple solutions that drain your entire tech budget and still not achieve desired results.

Learn more: How does citizen development help organizations combat shadow IT?

How does citizen development enhance 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 tools you pick should not only have the right set of features that accentuate 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.


Digital transformation is more than just deploying new technology to solve business problems. It is a comprehensive initiative that takes stock of the specific situation of your organization, identifies areas with inefficiencies, and deploys digital initiatives that solve problems and help you innovate rapidly.

Kissflow’s citizen development platform is perfect for organizations looking to build multiple short and long-tail apps sustainably without needing to burden your IT departments. Kissflow work platform not only simplifies app development for citizen developers but expedites the development and deployment process significantly.