by Tony Harris
• January 27, 2021
The amount of knowledge needed for application development has fallen rapidly over the last decade as more companies take advantage of no-code and low-code platforms. Today, citizen developers can build new business applications in graphics-based environments with drag-and-drop functionality. Instead of reaching out to IT professionals to improve functionality and solve business problems, they can use development tools made specifically for non-IT professionals.
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Expect the continued growth of citizen development to change several aspects of your business. According to Gartner, companies must include citizen development in the future of apps (paywall). For good or bad, the technology is here to stay.
Citizen developers are usually employees and managers who do not work in the IT department. They might not know much — or anything — about software development. However, they understand their business needs and processes. Insight into how they could make their business processes more efficient makes them interested in building applications with automation features that can help their teams work more efficiently.
Since they often have no experience with DevOps, citizen developers cannot code applications for their teams. They can, however, use low-code and no-code solutions to build applications that address their needs. It only takes a little knowledge for them to improve workflows, add process automation, and replace outdated software like Microsoft Excel with microservices that do specific jobs very well.
The rise of citizen developers could have both positive and negative consequences for your organization. Now that so many low-code tools and no-code development platforms exist, it’s important to embrace the technology and find ways to mitigate the unwanted consequences.
Like any emerging trend, citizen development comes with pros and cons for businesses.
The potential benefits of embracing citizen developers include:
Modernization often creates unexpected barriers to success. When your employees start developing apps, you may find that:
Ideally, your CIO can help direct the business’s digital transformation. Executives may need to ask the CIO to consider how citizen development will play a role in that process.
If your employees start working as citizen developers, it makes sense for you to make the most of the situation. Direct them toward reliable low-code and no-code tools they can use to build applications. Otherwise, they might choose solutions that don’t work or have serious security flaws.
Try DreamFactory for low-code API generation. It will help ensure that all your tools can communicate with each other.
Other options you should explore include:
You will almost certainly encounter problems getting citizen developer apps to communicate with each other. DreamFactory can eliminate most of those problems without forcing anyone to learn programming. With DreamFactory, your citizen developers benefit from a solution that:
Your IT team will also find DreamFactory useful since it helps them do everything from connecting to databases to developing custom code with more functionality than citizen development apps.
Start a free 14-day trial with DreamFactory. Once you see how well it works for every employee, you will want to sign up for a plan that matches your unique needs.
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