At A Glance – Citizen Development

Instead of waiting for IT, business users can develop their own applications

Traditionally, business IT requests have to go through a long development queue that can lead to months of delay. The alternative option is to equip business users (including customers as well as employees) with the tools to take care of their own programming requirements. This increasingly popular approach has been termed ‘citizen development’.

Citizen development allows business users to build their own applications and features in secure development locations, without the lengthy waiting times associated with IT departments. A citizen developer doesn’t have to have an extensive knowledge of code or programming. They simply need to identify a problem, come up with a software solution to address it, and then build it in a low code platform like Zapier or Quickbase. The citizen developer then works with the IT department to secure the solution and make sure that it meets certain standards. At that point, it can be published and used by others.

The benefits of citizen development are clear. There is less pressure on IT departments, shorter waiting times for software solutions, and therefore fewer barriers to innovation. Rather than paying external companies, citizen development merges software creation with business expertise. As a result, there is more empowerment across the business, both internally and from the perspective of the customer. A further advantage is improved cybersecurity due to the elimination of third parties.

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