What is citizen development?

Citizen development is a method that encourages non-technical individuals to build applications using low-code, no-code (LCNC) platforms. These platforms support a visual development approach that reduces the technical barriers to software development.

It helps users be more efficient and innovative, helping organizations attain their goals quickly. Gartner estimates that by 2025, 70% of new applications developed by enterprises will use LCNC technologies.

What is citizen development

Who is a citizen developer?

Who is a citizen developer

A citizen developer is a person who develops software applications without extensive technical training or expertise to fulfil their own or their organization's requirements.

Examples of real-life citizen developer personas are employees working in HR, Marketing, and Supply Chain departments, whose area of expertise lies outside application development.

With the growing demand for building apps to solve problems within an organization, IT teams find it difficult to meet every demand on time. That's where citizen developers play a role. They help business users and IT teams in building apps for custom needs. This reduces the burden on IT teams by allowing them to focus on solving complex problems.


Benefits of citizen development


Enhanced IT-business alignment

Citizen development breaks down barriers between IT and business teams by allowing them to communicate directly. This improves collaboration and helps in attaining organizational goals more smoothly.


Higher productivity

Citizen development lets business users automate non-core business workflows with the help of their knowledge in business processes and LCNC platforms. This frees up IT teams and traditional developers to focus on solving complex, high-level problems. It thereby improves the overall productivity of an enterprise.



Software developers are high in demand and are expensive for organizations to hire. In this scenario, if in-house talent is encouraged to build applications using the citizen development approach, it can help organizations by reducing the cost allocated for hiring professional developers. This helps the company use minimal resources.


Cuts down shadow IT

Shadow IT refers to the use of software by the employees without the approval of the IT team. This occurs when business users are stuck with outdated software and are kept waiting by the IT department to solve their issues. With citizen development, employees are provided with authorized software and shadow IT is prevented. They get the liberty to use tools that meet the organization's privacy and security standards.


Why low-code platforms for citizen development?


Citizen development benefits most enterprises, and LCNC platforms are the tools that best fit this approach. These platforms help both technical and non-technical users easily work together since it caters to both audiences and provides a best-of-both-worlds experience.

Business users benefit from meeting their unique requirements without the need to master complex programming languages while professional developers benefit from improved productivity by being able to build apps faster.

The drag-and-drop visual interface makes app building effortless even for beginners who have no experience with the backend process of developing apps. As organizations look to reduce the burden on IT and become more efficient, they should soon start purchasing and utilizing appropriate low-code platforms for their suitable functions of trade.


Use cases of low-code platforms


Automating business processes

Using LCNCs, citizen developers can automate manual, time-consuming business processes. For instance, the HR team can develop workflows to automate invoicing and payment tracking, and streamline the approval process for onboarding new employees.


Customer-facing applications

Low-code platforms can be used by citizen developers to build unique applications that enhance the consumer experience. For example, they can create a mobile app that would make it simple for users to track and supervise their accounts or a chatbot that would help with customer support.


Improving current applications

Low-code platforms can be used by citizen developers to improve existing applications. For instance, they could incorporate a new data source into an analytics platform or add new capabilities to a CRM system.


New idea prototyping and testing

Citizen developers can use low-code platforms to prototype quickly and test new ideas without relying on IT. This can hasten the innovation process as well as assist businesses in remaining competitive.

Citizen development with AppCreator

educe your organizations' IT burden today with ManageEngine AppCreator, a low-code platform that can help enterprises in accelerating and automating their business processes. Its visual development feature creates endless possibilities for more citizen developers to build apps on their own. Using our advanced automation feature, citizen developers can build workflows, schedule tasks, set reminders, and get notified to stay ahead and reduce the dependency on IT team.

With AppCreator, you can now

  •   Be more productive
  •  Avoid shadow IT and
  •  Solve business problems quickly

Don't wait any further. Become a citizen developer right away!