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The rise of the citizen developer – what could it mean for your business?

By Soffos Team
June 20, 2022

Today, the call for businesses to build new and innovative applications and integrate AI as they go, is growing. Despite the fact that 83%of companies share that using AI in their organisation is a top priority, the fact is that many organisations are struggling to keep up when it comes to delivering these solutions. So much so, in fact, that 77% of IT leaders and 71%of business leaders agree that IT teams have a huge pipeline of IT solution requests, which they do not have the capacity to build. Undoubtedly, this boils down to missed revenue-building opportunities and a loss of competitive advantage, as well as frustration amongst employees when it comes to ‘getting things done’.

The global talent shortage only makes matters worse. According to figures from 2020, a staggering 1.4 million computer science jobs were left unfilled in the United States. While initiatives that aim to get more young people into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are leading the charge to change this state of affairs, systemic efforts like these take time to filter through into the job market. Consequently, some businesses – particularly smaller organisations and SMEs – may need to look elsewhere to fill their application development needs.

This is where new trends in citizen development have arrived to solve the global talent shortage. This refers to a fledgling movement, wherein non-technical employees can build business applications and technology solutions using low- and no-code enterprise platforms (LCAPs) with visual interfaces, without ever needing to write a line of code.

Looking beyond the IT department for solutions

Simply put, citizen development has the potential to unleash a whole new level of productivity and innovation for companies, who needn’t worry about delayed timelines for their applications any longer. With LCAPs at their disposal, any worker with a great idea for an application can develop their own solution to solve specific business problems, rather than relying on an overwhelmed IT department, or even needing the in-house talent at all.

Instead, businesses can reap huge benefits by equipping agile citizen developers with these tools – after all, who knows your business better than somebody already on the team?

Democratizing access to tech

As your business users know their domain better than anybody else, they can create targeted applications to fulfil specific business needs and increase operational efficiency – and better still, they can do this quickly and with less rework. Crucially, citizen development allows businesses to innovate more quickly and cost-effectively, while reducing their IT backlog.Consequently, IT department members can focus on the most pressing tasks at hand.

For larger organizations, the citizen development movement challenges rigid decision-making, bureaucracy and timeworn internal hierarchies, and offers a new paradigm. This allows firms to empower their staff with valuable new roles – be it organising a new-and-improved time management application with AI at the helm, or a customer-facing solution for booking an educational course.

So, whether you are a seasoned coder, an AI expert, or an untrained tech enthusiast, we’re passionate about helping businesses to bring their biggest and boldest application ideas to life with our suite of next-genAPIs. You can read more from us about low-code applications here, and get in touch if you’d like to learn more about how we can support your journey!