Surfing The New Wave Of Citizen Developers


A decade ago, Gartner analysts claimed that "We're all developers today," referring to the budding citizen developer movement. Indeed, ten years on, citizen development has experienced exponential growth and is a powerful trend in the tech industry. 

So what’s driving this flourishing movement? 

Businesses are under increasing pressure to accelerate their digital transformation to remain agile and competitive. At the same time, they don’t have the time or resources to hire specialists or train their staff to grasp complex IT solutions. Instead, they need solutions that offer ease of use and user-friendly interfaces to simplify the adoption process and reduce employee dependence on IT personnel.

Citizen development’s ability to deliver business sustainability, boost productivity and make rapid innovation possible are all tremendous selling points.

In this article, we look at how companies like Laiye can help companies harness the power of citizen development to stay ahead of the curve in digital transformation.

What is a citizen developer?

To begin, let’s look at definitions. A citizen developer is a non-IT-trained employee or a person with no formal training in software development who builds and develops commercial software with minimal or no coding. They can be non-professional or non-technical developers who create business apps in the workplace utilizing platforms like Zapier, Jira, Trello and other automation tools.

Citizen development is an excellent option for firms wishing to empower business personnel to create their own software solutions without the assistance of engineers. The market for low-code tools, which allow non-professional developers to construct applications, has expanded from US$16 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach a market size of US$159 billion by 2030.

Gartner predicts that 65% of all application development functions will be built with low-code by 2024 and that 66% of the big corporations will implement a minimum of four low-code tools and platforms.

Studies have shown that almost 80% of leading companies (pacesetters) in the United States use citizen developers. Organizations that convert to citizen development may see faster time to delivery, automation of difficult operations, simplified data access, better decision making, and more empowered staff.

Most of the citizen developers are between the ages of 18 and 29, and they prefer in-person communication rather than email or phone, and they work on initiatives that serve 5-25 users and meet a specific business need.

This new wave of citizen developers is promoting software development innovation, and innovative technologies can help businesses tackle the challenges. 

Day-to-day Examples of Citizen Development

  1. User Research

Before Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions were implemented, there was no practical way to collect feedback, run a survey, or filter data to gain a deeper insight. However, many technologies (such as SurveyMonkey or Hotjar) allow non-technical users to collect user input, distribute it to team members and gain insights into user behavior.

  1. Database Management

One of the most challenging duties in an organization is appropriately handling and processing data because a single error may ruin your hard work. Citizen developers can manipulate databases with cloud applications such as Airtable or Google Sheets. They can also use a no-code integration service like Zapier to send data from a table to other apps.

  1. UX Prototyping

The design process used to be time-consuming because UX designers had to work within a specific platform before handing it over to developers to produce interactive mockups. With the emergence of basic interactive design tools like InVision and Figma, UX prototyping has become less time-consuming.

What are some Benefits of Citizen Development to Businesses?

It seems that the new citizen developers will take over enterprise app development and become a core part of IT before we know it. As a business owner, you may want to find out the main advantages of citizen development and how it will help your business to scale.

  1. Speed and Agility

With citizen developers on board, the time for app development is significantly reduced, as non-IT personnel can now quickly build enterprise-grade apps with drag-and-drop interfaces and automate workflows without bottlenecks. Citizen developers can also assist a company in fast adapting to overcome obstacles or satisfy new requests. 

Laiye’s Intelligent Automation (IA) platform offers low-code, user-friendly visual interfaces with drag-and-drop features, preset commands, and libraries. Laiye’s Conversational AI Platform relies on simple logic instead of extensive coding languages.

Improvements in efficiency and agility give a company a competitive advantage while empowering business users to design applications increases job satisfaction. 

  1. Enhanced Innovation

IT teams are often overwhelmed and are busy building critical solutions and maintaining existing systems. No-code and low-code tools enable citizen developers to meet organizational needs, inspire them to innovate and help design new apps with ease. For instance, Laiye offers free IA-related learning and certification courses and has a strong developer community of over 600,000 developers.

  1. Reduced Burden on IT

The IT teams already have a lot on their plates, from troubleshooting existing apps, developing new apps, and focusing on digital transformation. Citizen development can free up IT resources to work on more challenging projects, such as RPA robots which automate repetitive work for themselves or their departments without the help of IT. 

  1. Optimized Costs

No-code citizen development platform allows citizen developers to create applications in less time and with less money. Organizations can optimize existing resources and employees, significantly reducing expenses. Developing more apps in-house also eliminates the need to outsource work or purchase third-party applications. 

Citizen Development Is the Future

Citizen developers differ significantly from their co-workers in engineering. In most circumstances, a citizen developer may construct programs and gadgets to solve an issue at their business without relying on the IT department.

The recent Gartner study showed that CFOs are planning to spend more aggressively on technology even if inflation persists, with 52% of them scaling up digital investments. At the same time, 38% said they intend to protect their current investment levels. There is no doubt that citizen development will remain a vital business strategy in many organizations.

Want to know more?

Contact our friendly team to discover how much time and effort Laiye’s no-code Intelligent Automation solutions could save your company. Also, explore how your organization could use the freed-up time to increase sales and improve profitability by reading our success stories.

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