4 Ways Citizen Development Benefits Technical Teams


Technology has changed a lot in recent years and so have the expectations regarding software applications. Not too long ago, it was simply accepted that creating business applications was the responsibility of IT professionals. But the steady rise and evolution of low-code development platforms over the last decade has flipped the conversation on its head.

Today, leading companies are embracing a new approach to build software solutions faster. It’s called citizen development.

But wait, what exactly is citizen development?

It’s the practice of giving non-IT workers the ability to build applications with minimal coding skills. It’s the bridge that links business teams and technical teams when they are supported by a low-code platform. The idea is simple: empower business technologists to use low-code development tools to build applications that fit their needs. Meanwhile, IT can direct more of its focus towards managing security, data storage, and tackling other more complex projects typically reserved for highly trained coders.

Initially, citizen development was introduced as a way for business departments to create simple solutions with a local impact. However, with the arrival of the latest low-code platforms, citizen development for enterprise-grade applications is now possible.

The evolution of low-code has seen substantial changes from the first generation; where low-code tools were designed to accelerate development but were still technical platforms limited to use by IT, so citizen development was not possible. The second generation of tools saw the potential in citizen development and sharply redirected to support pure citizen developers. The problem here is that these second-generation tools are only suitable to build small applications with low impact, at the department level, because they generally lack the necessary governance and security capabilities. Citizen development works here, but there is a limit to the scalability and size of the solutions that can be created.

Today, third-generation low-code platforms like Aurachain can unlock the full potential of citizen development by providing the scalability, security, and governance tools needed to build enterprise applications.


Regardless of generation, the hype around citizen development has boomed in recent years. In fact, Gartner analysts predict that by 2025, 70% of new applications developed by organizations will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020; with the adoption of low-code platforms and citizen development being key drivers.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at four ways citizen development benefits technical teams:

1. Boost business and IT employee productivity

With the right low-code platform to support it, citizen development drives increased productivity in both business and IT teams. Empowering business teams to build the applications that they need means that business problems are solved faster. What’s more, the business leaders involved in building new applications are passionate about their creations and won’t need months of training to use what they just made. Meanwhile, you reduce the burden on IT resources so that they do not run the risk of being overwhelmed and can focus on higher-value projects.

2. Improve processes and automate more tasks across the business

Citizen development lets business teams use low-code tools to focus on projects that will have the greatest impact on their work. It empowers business leaders to rapidly iterate a laser-focused solution that directly tackles a business problem. Over time, this leads to more tasks automated, more processes optimized, and more problems solved.

3. Reduce the IT project backlog

While citizen development is far from a silver bullet that will completely eliminate your IT backlog, it does help to reduce it. Business leaders are encouraged to create and iterate their own applications without waiting for IT to build them. Many business applications can reach an MVP (minimal viable product) stage with minimal input from IT, which helps the business to achieve faster results and solve more problems.

4. Supplement developer resources

It’s no secret that there is a global software developer shortage. While your technical team probably includes some superstar coders, that doesn’t mean they don’t get overwhelmed from time to time. Developer burnout is very real and, unfortunately, quite common. Supported by the right low-code platform, citizen development can help to ease the burden on dev teams by enabling the business to safely build its own solutions within a fully governed environment.


Citizen development is here to stay

Demand for business software will only continue to rise as companies continue to automate processes and offer new, digital products and services. It only makes sense, then, that these companies will also look to accelerate the delivery of new software wherever possible. This will see the citizen development trend continue to grow, with more and more organizations set to embrace the approach.

Companies who get citizen development right will be able to deliver business applications and automate processes at a faster pace than ever before. The question for those who choose a different path is simple: how do you plan to keep up?

Want to learn more about how Aurachain enables citizen development for enterprise-grade solutions?

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