Alpha Software Blog

Citizen Developers and Rapid Mobile App Development: The Future of Mobile?

Are Citizen Developers and Rapid Mobile App Development the Future of Mobile?There’s increasing evidence that in the coming years so-called “citizen developers” will become the primary writers of mobile apps, thanks to easy-to-use rapid mobile app development (RMAD) tools. That doesn’t mean that IT will lose control – it will still add value with expertise about security, data governance, advanced features and data integration. But the primary development efforts may well end up in citizen developers’ hands.

Why RMAD and Citizen Developers Will Thrive

Gartner and Forrester, among other analysts and experts, say that rapid mobile app development platforms and the number of citizen developers using development tools will skyrocket in the next several years. Gartner estimates that by 2018 more than half of all B2E mobile apps won’t be built by IT or by traditional developers – instead, they’ll be written by enterprise business analysts using RMAD tools.

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 70% of enterprise mobile apps will be developed by citizen developers using app development platforms without IT involvement.Gartner analyst Jason Wong told SearchMobileComputing that “by 2020, 70% of enterprise mobile apps will be developed without IT involvement.” He added that RMAD tools “Will unleash app dev in a big way. If marketing wants to run a campaign, they can quickly build a micro app or [human resources] could do it for entry campaigns or other cases.”

Gartner is not alone in this way of thinking. Fortune notes that Forrester Research says that RMAD --or low-code -- tools are seeing 50% growth rates, and that revenue for RMAD software totaled $1.7 billion in 2015, and will zoom to $15 billion in the next four years.

IBM has noticed the trend as well. eWeek reports that an IBM study, “Raising the Game: The IBM Business Tech Trends Report," found that 80 percent of enterprises are turning to citizen developers to help close the gap between their need for app developers, and the number of app developers available for work. Sandy Carter, IBM's general manager of ecosystem development told the newspaper, "I love the idea of utilizing the talents of these scrappy citizen developers out there who are skilled in creating applications. This can help reduce the skills gap that exists in the industry."

It’s likely that citizen developers won’t become a power center separate from IT. Instead, they’ll probably forge a close relationship, Mark Driver, a research director at Gartner, told CIO Magazine. "If citizen development is done properly in partnership with the IT department, then that can work," he said. He added that Gartner predicts that 70 percent of large enterprises will have these kinds of partnerships by 2020.

To read more about citizen developers and RMAD read my related blogs, Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD): The Solution for Mobile App Developer Shortage and Why Write Your Own Apps (By Citizen Developers) is the Next Business Trend.

Need to empower citizen developers at your organization?
Alpha Anywhere is one of the most highly rated RMAD tools. InfoWorld named it a top mobile app development leader. Click for more details about Alpha Anywhere’s RMAD capabilities.

Become a citizen developer.

Prev Post Image
Rapid Mobile App Development Solves the Mobile App Developer Shortage
Next Post Image
How to Set Your Mobile App Strategy for 2017

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.

Related Posts
Top Security Concerns for Low-code and No-code Development
Top Security Concerns for Low-code and No-code Development
Low-Code/No-Code Skills Help Job Seekers Find their Ideal Jobs
Low-Code/No-Code Skills Help Job Seekers Find their Ideal Jobs
Gartner: 3 Steps for Harnessing the Disruptive Power of Low-Code
Gartner: 3 Steps for Harnessing the Disruptive Power of Low-Code

The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.