Detachment Between IT and the Business: How Citizen Development Can Help

How Citizen Development Can Help

In our digital age, people can order lunch from their phones and have it delivered in 30 minutes. Citizen development makes work as easy as ordering food from a food app. Citizen developers are non-IT employees who use technology to make their work easy and more efficient. They are business users with little to no coding experience who build applications using IT-approved technology. Citizen developers use cloud-based, low-code or no-code platforms to create solutions using intuitive interfaces instead of strings of code.

For many years, business users have been automating processes with electronic forms, spreadsheets, and macros. Many times, they successfully relieved their IT colleagues’ workloads. But at times, they created problems instead of solutions. New software makes it easy for citizen developers to streamline work for everyone–and to do so safely.

And while the concept of non-IT employees creating their own solutions isn’t new, most organizations are now realizing the positive impact of empowering citizen developers with powerful tools. According to a Gartner report, 61% of organizations have active citizen development initiatives or plan to have them. Citizen development bridges the gap between business users and IT staff.

The Motivation Behind the Citizen Development Movement

Citizen development was birthed when business analysts realized that too much responsibility was being placed on professional developers. Developers would spend a lot of time creating applications and troubleshooting existing applications, which meant they always had a backlog of requests from different departments.

Due to this, projects would sit around for months. IT firms started developing Low-Code No-Code platforms, enabling employees without professional development experience to create applications for fellow employees and customers.

Research has found that 71% of business leaders agree that IT teams have a huge backlog of new IT solution requests they aren’t working on. They also have to ensure the company’s operations run smoothly from a technology standpoint and are under a lot of pressure to modernize the current IT infrastructure to advance their organization’s digital agenda.

Citizen developers are more well-versed in their specialty than professional developers, so the apps and solutions they create are more likely to reflect the needs of users. To meet the needs of an ever-changing marketplace, some organizations now use citizen development platforms to enhance business processes and interactions between them and their customers.

Where Can Citizen Development Make an Impact?

  • Mobile applications: 89.84% of the world’s population owns mobile phones. Citizen development allows business users to create mobile applications without needing to know how to code.
  • Business applications: By developing administrative and reporting apps, citizen developers can have a big impact on enterprise organizations. They can create many enterprise solutions and automate their workflows easily.
  • Chatbots: Chatbots enhance customer relationship management. By using citizen development platforms, non-IT employees can make AI chatbots that offer customers the best experience possible and nurture leads.
  • Integrations: Citizen developers can seamlessly connect the cloud-based applications they use, ensuring data is shared and integrated easily. In every organization, data is important, but sharing it is sometimes hard because of its sheer volume. Citizen development tools can help employees share large amounts of data easily.

How to Enable Your Team to Empower Citizen Developers

Encourage Them to Offer Training and Mentoring

Citizen developers are tech-savvy and motivated individuals, however, they need support and training to improve their skill sets. With encouragement, their confidence will grow and they will look for new technologies to learn. Forward-thinking IT departments mentor citizen developers and offer training programs.


Citizen developers should be provided with governance models that include application lifecycle management. The models encourage repeated improvements to the applications and also allow organizations to focus on areas that will see the most benefit.

Continued Support

IT Managers and CIOs should regularly inform their organizations about the initiatives delivered by citizen developers. When citizen developers are recognized for their efforts, a company fosters a workplace culture that supports their professional growth. This makes them want to develop more tools that enhance business operations.

A Case Study of Wärtsilä, a Company That Benefited from Citizen Development:

Wärtsilä, a large Finnish marine engineering company, successfully implemented Robotic Process Automation with citizen developers. To scale its process automation, it engaged as many employees as possible. It introduced staff to the citizen development concept instead of imposing it on them. By doing this, it helped over 100 employees become actively involved in developing automations.

Once business users became involved and started helping with process automation development, they were encouraged to bring their ideas to the table. The company also implemented training to help citizen developers further understand the benefits of RPA. As a result, the company greatly benefited from RPA. Today, it uses more than 400 automated processes formulated by its citizen developers.

It’s clear from Wärtsilä’s experience that this approach works and is essential for organizations grappling with rapid change and adoption of new technologies.

The Future of Citizen Development

If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that businesses must be agile if they are to succeed. Remote working and the changes brought about by COVID-19 have caused incredible digital acceleration in just about every sector.

In response to a more agile, faster, and digitally-oriented business environment, companies must democratize access to technology, allowing more employees to help co-create technology assets. The valuable skills professionals have acquired and perfected over the years can be supported to foster a culture of innovation.

Using no-code and low-code platforms, employees with no IT background can become co-creators of software solutions. According to Gartner, by 2023, citizen developers in large enterprises will outnumber professional developers. Forrester also found that low-code no-code platforms allow citizen developers to create cloud-native applications more than 10-times faster and with fewer resources. Citizen development ensures organizations are prepared and can cope with the difficulties the future might hold.

Summing Up

Industry research projects that by 2024, there will be a deficit of 500,000 developers in the U.S. Rising IT backlogs and the shortage of skilled developers have brought about the need for citizen development. Most employees today can use and apply different technologies, and this bodes well for introducing additional innovative tools. Citizen development is beneficial to companies as employees can create the digital solutions they need, increasing productivity and making business processes more efficient.

By Dinesh Varadharajan

Money Big Data

How Bitcoin Brought The Lightning Network To El Salvador

The Lightning Network El Slavador made waves last month after becoming the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. El Salvador’s Congress voted by a “supermajority” in favor of the Bitcoin Law which states, ...
Ronald van Loon

The Future of Work: Confronting One of the Biggest Challenges of the Next Decade

The Future of Work Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and automation in all of its forms can augment human workers and enable them to pivot to more valuable work, and perform their ...
Kelly Dyer

Healthcare Data Security: Why It Matters

Healthcare Data Security Today, electronic healthcare data exists at every point along a patient’s journey. So frequently is it being processed, accessed, and shared between multiple providers, that we’d be forgiven for forgetting the highly ...
Big Data Explosion

Developing Machine Learning-based Approach for Optimizing Virtual Agent (VA) Training

Optimizing Virtual Agent (VA) Training Achieve NLU model’s precision, recall & accuracy up to 78% The success of any Virtual Agent (VA) depends on the training of its Natural Language Understanding (NLU) model prior to ...
Martin Mendelsohn

The Growth of Third Party Risk Management (TPRM) Firms

Cybersecurity and the Continued Risks Back in the day, we played cops and robbers with sticks and plastic squirt guns.  Sometimes you were pursued, at other times you were the pursuer.  There wasn’t much more ...


The CloudTweaks technology lists will include updated resources to leading services from around the globe. Examples include leading IT Monitoring Services, Bootcamps, VPNs, CDNs, Reseller Programs and much more...

  • Smartproxy


    Smartproxy is a rising star in the constantly growing proxy market. Smartproxy offers awarded customer service, impressive performance, and is serious about your anonymity (yes, cybersecurity matters). The latest features developed by Smartproxy are 30 minute long sticky sessions and Google Proxies. Rumor has it, the latter guarantee 100% success rate

  • Bright Data

    Bright Data

    Bright Data’s network is one of the most robust of its kind globally. Here are its stark advantages: Extremely stable connection for long sessions (99.99% uptime guaranteed). Free to integrate with our Proxy Manager which allows you to define custom rules for optimized results. Send unlimited concurrent requests increasing speed, cost-effectiveness, and overall efficiency.

  • Rsocks


    RSocks team offers a huge amount of residential plans which were developed for plenty of tasks and, most importantly, has been proved to be quite efficient. Such variety has been created on purpose to let everyone choose a plan for a reasonable price, online, rotation and other parameters.

  • Storm Proxies

    Storm Proxies

    Storm Proxies' network is optimized for high performance and fast multi-threaded tools. You get unlimited bandwidth. No hidden costs, no limits on bandwidth. Try Storm Proxies 100% Risk Free. If you are not happy with the service email us within 24 hours of purchase and we will refund you.