The Need for Citizen Development in 2022

The Need for Citizen Development in 2022

Forward-thinking organizations are constantly refining processes and searching for new ways to innovate to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. These companies know that the moment they fall behind — whether due to stagnation or embracing a poorly formulated strategy — their brand will no longer be relevant to their customers.

To maintain that edge, companies have started to embrace automation. Automation allows them to streamline processes and handle complex tasks without increasing headcount. Over the years, automation has been a net positive, both internally and for consumers. Advancements in automation technologies such as robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision, bring a new way of approaching automation i.e. “Hyperautomation”. The potential of Hyperautomation seems almost limitless.

A leading research firm, Gartner, defines Hyperautomation as “a business-driven, disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet, and automate as many business and IT processes as possible.”

Taking advantage of this technology yields great results but requires some investment. No matter how large your IT department is, they cannot fully exploit the possibilities of Hyperautomation alone, but they don’t have to with the rise of citizen development.

What is citizen development?

Citizen development enables employees who lack an IT background — especially in coding — to act as software developers by using low-code and no-code platforms to create original business applications. They do this by customizing and creating existing software programs aimed to suit specific use cases, which has led to a new level of efficiency within some of the most prestigious companies. The companies that have embraced citizen development find it exceptionally beneficial.

When it comes to internal benefits, citizen development helps ease the burden on IT departments already stretched to the limit of building new programs and troubleshooting existing code. Employees who create citizen development applications can eliminate bugs and other issues from the applications they’ve produced without the aid of IT. And once that code is tested, they can publish new updates independently. As a result, highly skilled IT employees can handle more complex tasks and projects. Moreover, with the extra time, they can monitor and improve the output of employees engaged in citizen development.

Citizen development also leads to speedier delivery of the applications that are crucial for consumers and other external stakeholders. If the time-to-market or the pace of fixing the issues of an existing application is slow, the company rapidly loses its standing in the market. It’s easy to lose a customer but virtually impossible to woo them back after a negative experience. That’s not an issue with citizen development. Citizen development platforms use pre-made code to generate applications that can be delivered and updated faster. Moreover, as citizen developers grow in familiarity and comfortability with the drag and drop nature of these platforms, they tend to improve productivity and efficiency.

What is a citizen developer?

A citizen developer is a non-IT employee that is able to leverage technology for either internal business users or consumers. Employees who work as citizen developers typically create applications for the specific business units they belong to. Their familiarity with the business and singular focus allows them to create more user-friendly and intuitive solutions as compared to a developer with great technical skills but no knowledge of the intricacies of the business process.

There are no specific degrees or other educational requirements necessary to become a citizen developer. Citizen developers only need some tech-savvy and deep knowledge of the particular business units they’re creating applications for.

While you might not know any citizen developers today, research firm Gartner predicts that “by 2023, the number of active citizen developers at large enterprises will be at least four times the number of professional developers.”

Who needs citizen development?

Broadly, any business or organization struggling to get things done with an IT team that is dealing with mounds of technical debt and a backlog of innovation projects needs citizen development. Meaning, most companies!

Businesses that embrace citizen development experience greater efficiency and productivity. They cannot afford to waste time and resources waiting for the IT department to address software issues both large and small. Leveraging citizen developers can allow business needs to be met more quickly without disrupting other critical projects. Keep in mind that we are not advocating for “Shadow” IT that completely bypasses architectural and other required oversight provided by the IT department.

What business model should you embrace?

Businesses should first evaluate the need and then adopt a suitable citizen development model

that provides a framework for necessary oversight and guidance. For instance, companies get in trouble if they allow IT professionals to complete development projects that will be turned over to citizen developers for ongoing work without planning for a comprehensive transition for the citizen developer. Ineffective planning can lead to inefficiencies and rework. To avoid that, it is important to have a suitable platform to help guide them through the process and support them long after the initial setup.

That’s where Nividous comes in. The Nividous platform, built with a holistic automation approach, provides the necessary tools your business needs to start your Hyperautomation journey. Once the Nividous team completes the initial setup, your citizen developers will be primed to efficiently build automation on top of that strong foundation. And in the event your citizen developers hit a snag, the Nividous team offers ongoing support to help them through a project, along with the capabilities to handle projects end-to-end, if requested.

Nividous, a leading global intelligent automation company, is passionate about enabling organizations like yours to work at peak efficiency using a holistic approach to citizen development. The Nividous business automation platform harnesses the power of RPA, AI, and BPM – three pillars natively available, and a key differentiator in comparison to other platforms attempting to offer citizen development tools.

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