Citizen developers: all you need to know to govern the trend

Citizen developers: all you need to know to govern the trend

Who are citizen developers? Imagine an individual who builds apps and boosts teamwork by using IT tools. Now, what if such a user armed themself with a business process automation system that is entirely no-code? Just imagine what they’d be capable of doing!

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the basic concepts of the citizen-led innovation trend. If you’re looking for a practical guide to citizen development, explore one of our recent articles How to become a citizen developer: 5 steps to take charge of your company’s automation success.

Let’s get started!

Citizen development: a new low-code trend

First of all, what do we know about “cit devs” except for generalized stuff like, “someone who steps in to solve a business problem”? To start, let’s take a quick look at the citizen developer definition:

A citizen developer is a non-professional developer who uses corporate tools available to him/her at the moment to create a new service or application.

We live in the age of digital change. Any processes crucial to customer experience are quickly getting digitized and automated. There is no turning back. With high costs and constant compliance rules, businesses can no longer rely on old fashioned techniques to maintain successful performance.

For many of them, it means falling behind in the digital race. There is simply too much data, too many apps, and too many integrations.

Today, it’s clear that an effective business process has to be visually-driven and end-to-end at all times (without the need to write complex code and integrate multiple vendors). As a result, more and more companies empower their employees to become cit devs and help create new software.

With the low-code/no-code software market growing at roughly 40% annually, citizen development has already become a modern-day standard. What’s more, according to Dion Hinchcliffe, by 2025, citizen developers will be standing behind the creation of 90% of all apps.

Which citizen development benefits make this trend so popular?

  • First, it empowers employees to design and build applications that can quickly grow and adapt according to the needs of the business.
  • Secondly, it’s a visual process that uses pre-built modules. Cit devs can build apps quicker and arrange specific business processes without having to hire an army of expensive IT developers.

The lack of professional software developers has become a catalyst for the so-called citizen development culture. But what is a citizen developer? What are key citizen developer skills? How to become a citizen developer? Watch the video below to learn more:

How citizen developers reshape the face of app development

If you think about it, citizen development isn’t something brand new. Businesses have always built essential isolutions with spreadsheets, SQL databases, etc. with or without IT approval (this is called “Shadow IT”).

To tackle Shadow IT, organizations can foster the idea of citizen developers among their workforce. By providing employees with the necessary training, tools, and guidelines, they can unleash their creativity and problem-solving skills through approved channels, curbing the temptation to turn to unauthorized applications and processes.

Software engineering is evolving like any other form of technology. The growth gives users the ability to solve more creative, complex problems while having limited developing or coding skills. After all, developers who once bought servers and designed complex backend systems can now buy ready-to-use services from Amazon, Microsoft, or Google with a credit card.

While traditional digital application development requires thousands or even millions of lines of code, the low-code approach makes it easier to develop applications. It makes development easier by using a drag-and-drop interface combined with integrations. In fact, becoming a successful citizen developer today is a matter of adopting the right toolset.

With the platform’s visual drag-and-drop language, even someone with no coding experience can quickly build apps.

Feel free to create something new

Build apps using a no-code platform

Responding to a need

Typically, citizen developers build applications to improve their day-to-day productivity or improve an existing business process. The problem is that their corporate environments can be limiting to creativity.

With airSlate, you can create a Flow Template that will work as a separate application. An app that will track stock in the warehouse, organize data collection, workflow management, etc. What’s more, you can automate your business processes with no need to pay extra for third-party solutions and API-integrations.

If properly adjusted and set to your business, the Flow Template can successfully work for years:

  • You don’t need an IT department or any engineering support to work with airSlate.
  • You can track anything in airSlate without automating everything. Processes can start flexible and become more automated later.

What does airSlate have to offer?

Unfortunately, we aren’t mind-readers, so we’ve created a genuinely intuitive pick-up-and-go solution for you. Unlike many other low-code automation vendors, it arms a developer with a toolset to set up workflows faster, easier, and better than ever.

Start by mapping out your business process to bring more clarity to operations. And then use airSlate’s automation or integration Bots to improve processes that are important to your business’s success.

This is how it works in airSlate:

  1. Create a Flow and upload the documents and forms involved in the process.
  2. Adjust the Bots based on intuitive IF-THEN statement logic.
  3. Assign permissions and roles, allowing everyone involved in the process to access and manage the data within the Flow.
  4. After everything is ready, send the Flow.

Participants can easily change the Flow structure, or the automation settings anytime the process changes. Assistance from IT isn’t necessary. It means that each workflow, is in fact, a finalized, standalone and fully automated process.

Summing up

Business developers shouldn’t be working with outdated systems or performing tasks manually. It’s not profitable. It’s frustrating for everyone and leads to bad customer experience.

airSlate empowers users to create workflows to collaborate with their colleagues seamlessly and removes the need to hire expensive consultants and software developers. Making airSlate both versatile and ideal for companies set on minimizing their IT spendings.

airSlate is a perfect choice for citizen developers seeking to push their company forward using nothing more than their initiative.