To truly achieve digital transformation, forward-looking companies need to adopt a platform that streamlines operations, cuts costs, and taps into the full potential of their workforce. As more organizations join in on the trend of introducing no-code and citizen development, many of them are still unfamiliar with the true value of adopting this strategy.
Let’s explore the basics of citizen development, and why no-code application development platforms offer a significant advantage in today’s dynamic business environment.
What is no-code application development?
A no-code development platform is an integrated software development environment used to create new apps, process workflows, and reporting through a graphical user interface. In the past, app development involved lengthy cycles of writing complex code, followed by extensive testing and debugging. With a no-code app development platform, coding is replaced by intuitive, visual, drag-and-drop interfaces, allowing for the rapid and efficient creation of sophisticated apps without the need for advanced training. These platforms are particularly valuable to business users looking for innovative workplace solutions that won’t overload IT with smaller app projects.
Why are no-code platforms becoming so popular?
No-code development is the fastest, easiest, and most cost-effective way to build business apps and empower citizen developers in the workplace to gain quick insights, eliminate wasteful procedures, collaborate, and innovate. This speedy new app development process has transformed the business world. What used to take weeks or months of traditional development can now be accomplished and put into practice in a matter of hours–or even minutes.
Employees without any software engineering skills can create apps that were once the sole province of IT departments. This empowerment of employees is crucial for organizations to stay competitive in a world where digitization and data are key to success. As more companies rely on low code/no-code to automate outdated systems and processes, Gartner predicts that low code and no-code will power the creation of 70% of new applications by 2025.
What are the benefits of citizen development?
Citizen development offers significant advantages that allow organizations to leverage the collective skills and creativity of their workforce to drive innovation, streamline processes and achieve better business outcomes.
- Filling talent gaps: Empower employees to contribute their expertise and creativity, reducing reliance on a small pool of technical experts.
- Reducing IT dependency: Offload development tasks, allowing IT teams to focus on more complex projects and increase productivity.
- Promote a culture of innovation: Foster a collaborative environment where employees actively participate in problem-solving and process improvement.
By empowering employees across different roles and departments to actively participate in application development, organizations can tap into a diverse range of expertise and foster a culture of innovation and efficiency. Citizen developers bring a deep understanding of business processes, user needs, and industry-specific challenges, enabling the creation of more effective applications that directly address organizational requirements.
Citizen development also mitigates the risks of “shadow IT,” where employees create digital solutions without IT department oversight. By providing a controlled environment with necessary governance measures, citizen development platforms transform shadow IT into a source of innovation and speed.
“It’s worth acknowledging two truths: shadow IT is essential for business operations, and talent capable of creating applications often resides outside the IT department,” write McKinsey experts. “Despite its utility, shadow IT poses a serious security risk to all organizations, but enterprises have an incredible opportunity to transform it into an area of innovation and speed.”
How secure is a no-code platform?
Data is a company’s data most valuable asset. That’s why top-tier businesses rely on no-code platforms that prioritize rock-solid security, governance, control, and seamless integration built into their DNA.
These platforms come equipped with strong built-in security measures, which, when combined with a set of zero-trust rules, are your best bet against most data breaches and cyberattacks. Built-in permissions and proper training, testing, and gate-keeping are essential for maintaining good governance and ensuring data security.
“No matter how good the low-code tool is, there’s still a chance that employees will be tempted to create applications beyond the security radar,” Jonathan Reed writes in Security Intelligence. “For this reason, built-in permissions go a long way in maintaining good governance.” Proper training, testing and gate-keeping are key here.
Will citizen developers replace professional developers?
No code platforms may put app-building capabilities in the hands of business users and designers, but they don’t eliminate the need for coding or professional developers altogether. Enabling citizen development means that programmers won’t have to take on all the general workforce’s IT-related requests, allowing them to focus on high-level innovation, custom development of consumer applications, and other vital initiatives or higher value tasks such as planning, architecture, DevOps, and security.
Professional and citizen developers also complement each other’s skills and shortcomings. Professional developers have the expertise required to build complex, scalable, and robust applications. While citizen developers can contribute to application development using low-code tools, they often lack the technical skills and experiences necessary to take on complex or specialized projects that involve intricate coding, custom integrations, performance optimization, or legacy systems. The collaboration between citizen and professional developers creates a powerful combination that leverages the strength of both groups to deliver high-quality, innovative applications. It’s crucial to choose a platform that enables this collaboration seamlessly.
The drive toward digitization and the rise of citizen developers across the business landscape have elevated no-code development to a position of strategic importance. No code’s many advantages — ease of use, security and productivity improvement — align with the goals and objectives of organizations challenged to keep up with the ever-increasing speed of application delivery. No-code development offers a solution that harnesses the full potential of a company’s resources — both human and digital — improving outcomes across the board.
Volt MX is the industry-leading multiexperience low code platform for both professional and citizen developers. Volt MX provides a persona-specific environment for citizen developers to build applications with IT governance, and work collaboratively with IT to expand engaging experiences across all digital touchpoints. Learn more here.