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Citizen Development

Supercharge Productivity and Innovation with Citizen Development


In today’s business world, competition is fierce. Businesses of all sizes have had to grow rapidly and innovate quickly. This has become necessary to meet up with the demands of the modern business landscape. Businesses that embrace digital innovation have an edge over their competitors that are still tied down by legacy systems.

IT professionals already play a crucial part in the deployment of broad-based business automation tools. But in most cases, they can’t keep up with the demands of the new world of work. Businesses today are turning to citizen development not just as a solution to make up for IT deficits, but as a crucial tool to supercharge productivity and drive innovation.

What is citizen development?

Citizen development is a concept focused on encouraging non-IT professionals to create their own business applications using low-code and no-code platforms that are sanctioned by IT. Citizen developers are regular employees with no coding background. However, they have the skills needed to create or customize applications that solve specific business problems.

This approach is a cost-effective solution that solves two pressing problems at the same time. First, the creation of business apps helps to streamline and automate processes with the goal of improving productivity. This model also drives innovation without relying heavily on IT departments.

How citizen development improves productivity

The abundance of low-code and no-code citizen development platforms has made it possible for business users to build simple but efficient automation apps for themselves. These highly motivated non-tech employees build apps for their own teams and even for other business teams.

This approach to app development improves employee productivity in the following ways:

1. It increases job satisfaction and efficiency

When you democratize the app development process, you increase the participation of business users in digital transformation initiatives. These employees are fully involved in building the citizen developer apps that make their work easier and help them to save time. This overall improvement in efficiency leads to a happier work environment where more people are productive.

Learn more: Busting the Top 5 Myths In Citizen Development

2. Improves business and IT collaboration

One of the consequences of digital transformation is that it further aligns business users and IT departments. While citizen development encourages non-IT employees to take initiative, they still rely on IT for governance. This synergizes your teams to work together even better, improving overall productivity across your organization.

3. Boosts the productivity of IT departments

Engineers and pro-coders within an organization have a lot of responsibilities that transcend building and deploying low-level applications. Citizen development frees up internal resources that would have been otherwise expended on these low-scope development efforts. This way, IT teams can now focus on building solutions and other technical responsibilities.

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

How citizen development drives innovation and growth

Before citizen development, delivering innovative solutions was the sole responsibility of the traditional IT department. The rise of citizen development means innovation no longer has to be confined to just one part of the business. It is democratized; spread across your entire company so everyone is a part of it.

The following are some of the ways this new digital culture helps to drive innovation and growth:

1. Speed and agility

The traditional methods of developing innovative apps take months. But now, thanks to citizen developers, non-IT professionals will play a crucial role in building and deploying enterprise-grade apps that can help automate workflows, streamline processes and acclerates business sustainability.

This helps to clear up bottlenecks caused by over-dependence on traditional IT teams. This allows businesses to adapt quickly to industry innovation needs, overcome challenges and keep up with the competition.

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

2. Reduces the cost of innovation

According to a survey by Prophet, 28%[1] of companies report that digital transformation is a cost center. Not only does citizen development speed up the rate at which you create applications, but it also reduces how much it costs to do so. This approach leverages existing resources to build, deploy and maintain business-critical apps.

There is no need to outsource, expand your team or invest in third-party applications when you get everything done in-house with the help of your existing employees.

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

3. Align app design with user needs

Digital innovation isn’t merely about building several apps, the best apps are those that align with the specific needs of the users. Citizen development achieves this goal perfectly. Citizen development empowers those who are closest to the problem to solve them. Citizen developers are skilled professionals with an in-depth knowledge of the processes they’re building for.

As a result, the apps they build are informed by both data and practical knowledge of the problems they intend to solve.

Learn more: The Future of Apps must include Citizen Development. Here's Why.

4. Fast-tracks digital transformation

In today’s business environment, conditions are constantly changing. Businesses that want to stay competitive need to evolve rapidly by building apps that are ready for release as quickly as possible. The traditional development process cannot keep up with this heightened demand for innovative apps.

In the end, digital transformation often ends up drawn out or even fails due to the deficiencies of the traditional IT setup. The citizen development model helps companies to speed up app development so that they can deliver enhanced service to customers and meet up with their digital transformation goals.


Experts think the future of work will be heavily dependent on citizen developers. Their contribution to issue-based innovation will allow professional IT teams to focus on more advanced enterprise-wide projects. A consequence of this is an improvement in productivity on local levels as well as accelerated business outcomes on the organizational level.

In today’s agile and more digitally-oriented business world, having a citizen development platform like Kissflow democratizes access to technology. Kissflow’s citizen development platform enables intuitively designed and easy-to-use applications that drive innovation by creating solutions that are closest to the problem.