In recent times, many organizations have been striving to incorporate new digital technologies and channels into their operations. While this is great (and necessary), it often comes at a cost as growing digitization places greater demands on a company’s IT department. An accelerated pace of digital transformation across all departments of an organization often leads to gaps that are difficult to fill by the existing technical workforce.
On average, midsize to enterprise-level businesses need to create more than 200 workflows per year. The bulk of this work rests on IT teams who still have to deliver their day-to-day work. To solve this problem and still innovate digitally, business leaders are starting to discover the role of citizen developers in fixing the digital skills shortage and relieving pressure on IT teams.
According to a recent Gartner survey, 41 per cent of respondents confirmed they had implemented citizen development initiatives in their organization. This has proven helpful for tackling challenges that hamper digital innovation and decrease IT backlogs. At this stage it would be helpful for us to explore: Who exactly are citizen developers, and how can they help boost business outcomes in your organization?
Who are citizen developers?
Citizen developers are non-IT professionals capable of building applications and process workflows using low-code or no-code. They can build web-based and process-oriented – or data-oriented – applications very quickly with no coding knowledge.
PEX Guide: What is low-code app development?
In recent times, citizen developers have proven to be a secret weapon organizations need to fill the technical skill they face in scaling up. This army of individuals use low-code tools to automate workflows required for daily operations.
Citizen developers are not part of the traditional IT team. Instead, they work across various departments of an organization to implement no-code techniques that help automate processes.
Why use citizen developers?
Through the application of no-code technology citizen developers can create the needed visual and templated workflows to build digital ones and automate repeatable tasks and fast processes, which will solve various operational problems. Thus, these individuals are valuable in helping an organization achieve new levels of efficiencies at a measurer cost.
There are some reasons why you should use citizen developers.
Reduced pressure on IT teams
The most significant factor that has necessitated the need for citizen developers is the ever-increasing demand for the IT department. With growing digitization comes an expanding list of IT requests from various departments in an organization. This is often distracting for an IT team that handles core responsibilities like cyber security and system maintenance.
The growing number of new workflow requests can lead to backlogs that harm efficiency. Accordingly, there is consistent pressure on the IT department, which can spill over into various aspects of the business. The result is a stressed and over-stretched IT team and inefficiencies due to the lack of software solutions and applications needed to complete tasks.
Citizen developers can help free up your stressed IT professionals so they can focus on more high-level projects instead of mundane tasks that can be easily handled with automation solutions.
Savings on IT resources
IT is an essential part of any organization and a gap in IT skills can cost an organization substantially in terms of resources. To keep up with digitization needs, companies often need to hire more IT professionals or contract IT to an external firm. Either of these approaches can lead to a massive surge in IT cost for an organization.
Business leaders have found that they will spend less by leveraging the skills of citizen developers. These developers can help tackle most of the organizational needs at a fraction of what it will cost to hire a pro developer. This makes them quite valuable in saving resources for an organization.
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How can businesses benefit from citizen developers?
In the past, businesses had to spend several thousands of dollars to implement new workflow solutions. In addition to the cost, these IT infrastructures often take days, weeks, or even months to implement.
Today, thanks to the no-code platforms, new workflows can be implemented within days. The drastic reduction in the time it takes to implement them can improve productivity in business processes quite significantly.
No-code platforms empower non-technical employees by making it possible to build apps that solve everyday challenges as quickly as possible. Seeing these benefits, citizen developers have become integral to business success.
According to a report by Gartner, it is predicted that by 2024, the majority of tech tools – up to 80 per cent – used in an organization will be built by non-IT professionals.
The nature of citizen developers makes them even more valuable in developing technology solutions. Unlike the IT teams, citizen developers are closer to the business problems they are trying to solve. Hence, they can implement solutions that are better customized to solve these problems.
Taking a citizen developer’s approach ultimately frees up your IT team so that they can focus on higher priority projects instead of spending time on simple tasks. Accordingly, your digitization and innovation goals are easily achieved without impacting other aspects of your operations significantly.
Without a doubt, citizen developers are a vital part of every forward-looking organization. With the help of citizen developers, teams can develop workflows that solve their daily operational needs as quickly and efficiently as possible. This will immensely reduce the pressure on your IT teams, your bottom line and free up valuable resources.