Will citizen development work for your organization?

When you look at how analysts such as Gartner, Forrester, McKinsey and etc... are touting citizen development, you will think that this is the next big thing - just as how Big Data was going to take over the universe.

After all, who doesn't want to see internal improvement and innovation that will improve their business operations by leveraging on resources that you already have paying for? Which IT team does not have backlogs or struggling to keep everything compliant with all the shadow IT stuff that is going on? Microsoft is so dug into this strategy that they have announced a 50% price reduction to entice its early adopters.

Is it another hype or the next big thing that is going to change the face of computing? And my favorite answer is "it depends..."

Before we begin, let's look at its definition...

"A citizen developer is an employee who creates new business applications for consumption normally by themselves, but potentially with others, using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT or the enterprise line of business organizations." (Gartner's definition)

When you examine this definition, you see a few of the key ingredients:

  • Employee (non-IT) creation

  • Applications for own consumption

  • With others

  • Sanctioned by IT

But they all point to the same thing – your people and their work culture. Consider the obvious questions:

  • Are your people creative, self-initiated?

  • Have they practice DIY mindset? Love to learn and do new stuff?

  • How well do they work within their teams? With others

  • How strong and influential is your IT team?

  • Have they been successfully in teaching and supporting your teams to use new skills?

  • Will this work culture be appreciated and rewarded in your organization?

If all the above applies to your organization, then citizen development will fit right into your next big plan. Keep a look out about our next blog on how to start citizen development in your organization.

About Rico Ho

As the chief evangelist for webparts360, a low code applications development tool for SharePoint, he has been tasked with helping hundreds of developers to migrate thousands of applications to SharePoint and Office 365. This gives him a front row view to how to change a “reluctant” programmer into “process renovator”.

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