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Rize of the Citizen Developer

We can all attest that properly built business apps can streamline or improve nearly any business process. And the demand for mobile apps will continue to accelerate - with the goal being improved efficiency and reduced costs.

But there's historically been an obstacle on the path to digital transformation: development and deployment of business applications is traditionally in the wheelhouse of Information Technology Departments and professional developers. Gurus with years of training in application development and development tools whose names draw blank stares from those outside their ecosystem.

Demand for reliable, secure, easy-to-use software outstrips this specialized workforce’s capacity to produce it. Marketers, managers, and field workers with domain expertise and knowledge of how to use apps are forced to navigate IT bureaucracy to request new task-focused business apps. Even when granted, new app projects often miss the mark because of miscommunication on business requirements. This is the Skills Gap, holding many enterprises back from their potential. 


Over 40% of organizations report suffering from a skills gap.


Enter Citizen Developers. Citizen Developers are business users outside of IT - often domain experts or business analysts - using nontraditional development tools or development platforms to solve business problems which previously could only be solved by IT. This movement spurs the democratization of software development. Business people confronted with clumsy inefficiencies are empowered to solve their own problems. Even introduce new products.


Most citizen developers are between the ages of 18 - 29; prefer face-to-face communications over email or phone communications; and work on projects that serve 5-25 users and fulfill a niche need for the business.


By allowing citizen developers to take charge of solving routine business process problems and build applications, organizations free up IT personnel to focus their energy on complex and mission-critical projects for the business. Ignore the citizen development trend at your own peril.

Almost 80% of leading companies (pacesetters) use citizen developers.

Below is an infographic from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Information Systems Program breaking down the economic cost of the skills gap, the poise of citizen developers to recover those costs.

The latest data on citizen developers: who they are, what they do and what companies use them.

The Power of The Citizen Developer - Guest Post by Peter Darmon, University of Alabama at Birmingham Information Systems Program 

How to Find and Empower Citizen Developers to Create New Business Applications with No-Code: 

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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