IT supply has been largely outpaced by demand and a shortage of digital talent, a distinctive feature of recent years.

It is in this context that citizen automation development is growing. Business users can build their applications using low-code development tools, i.e., requiring low programming knowledge or no coding skills.

Formally, Gartner defines a citizen developer “as an employee who creates application capabilities for consumption by themselves or others, using tools that are not actively forbidden by IT or business units. A citizen developer is a persona, not a title or targeted role. They report to a business unit or function other than IT.”

Gartner estimates that the worldwide market for low-code development technologies will increase by 20 % in 2023. It also predicts that by 2026, developers outside formal IT departments will account for at least 80% of the user base for low-code development tools, up from 60% in 2021.

Forrester estimates that citizen development has gone from experimentation to replacing core applications, with 39% of firms currently using low-code to empower developers outside of IT, and 27% planning to do so in the next 12 months.

More precision, more engagement

This paradigm represents a leap in quality with respect to the democratization of new technologies within an organization. The benefit is that it not only frees up IT time and resources to concentrate on critical and strategic developments but also accelerates productivity and generates new levels of engagement because people will feel directly involved in innovation and transformation initiatives within the organization. Digital competence and the agility to meet the demands of a fast-paced environment will also increase. No one knows how the job is done better than the person doing it.

However, this citizen developer model cannot be deployed in anarchy. To be successful, it must be accompanied by governance. Otherwise, applications generated at different organizational points would lead to duplication, data silos, and even vulnerabilities.

Governance and standardization

It is precisely at this stage that the technology partner comes into play. Technology partners can develop frameworks, policies, and points of interaction -whenever necessary- with professional developers. They can also provide training to citizen developers through workshops or webinars to ensure that all stakeholders can contribute the maximum added value from wherever they are.

Another key aspect in which the technological partner can play an important role is that of standardization, not only for the development framework, but also, and fundamentally, from a UX perspective. It is nice to have an intuitive interface design, but
considering everything that surrounds the software product and allows a person to have the best possible experience every time is even more important.

In the midst of this air of democratization of application development and new technologies, nothing better than the support of the right technology partner to lay the foundations for good governance.