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Beginners guide to citizen app development

Website and app development have changed dramatically. Mobile app development has especially transformed over the years due to an increase in demand for portable devices and apps. Thankfully, it is no longer dependent on the traditional infrastructures and resources.

For instance, organizations are thinking beyond custom app development agencies and professional coders and are enabling app development within their organization with the help of low and no-code development software.

The rise in popularity of low-code and no-code development software has paved way for citizen development across the globe. So, continue reading and learn about citizen app development in detail. Get answers to all your questions with bonus tips and information.

In this blog

  1. What is citizen app development?
  2. Why is citizen development becoming popular?
  3. What are the advantages of citizen app development?
  4. What are the challenges of citizen app development?
  5. How to become a citizen app developer?
  6. How is AppMySite powering citizen app development?

What is citizen app development?

Citizen development is a method of sustainable development opted by an organization or business that encourages and enables its non-IT (Information Technology) employees and professionals to take up software development. Citizen mobile app development is on the rise, and it eliminates the dependency on IT infrastructure and resources and enables businesses to build software without hiring developers or agencies.

A citizen developer is usually an employee of an organization or entity. Unlike pro-code custom app coders and programmers, citizen developers use low-code and no-code technologies to create the app (or any other software). Remember, that citizen developer is not a dedicated role or a title, but a persona.

Citizen development brings dynamism in an organization and helps businesses reduce their backlogs and adapt to the ever-changing business landscapes. In fact, statistics say that around 32 percent of organizations across the globe are now providing development training and tools for non-IT employees.

Clearly, increase in demand for apps has also led to the popularization of citizen app development and it is changing the app development industry for the good. All the stakeholders are compelled to think beyond the traditional methods of app development and adapt to more sustainable and cost-effective alternatives like low-code and no-code.

Why is citizen development becoming popular?

Pro-coders, developers, programmers, and development agencies had their monopoly over the mobile app industry for the longest time. Anytime anyone needed an app, they were compelled to pick one of these solutions.

However, these traditional methods of app development, or development as a whole, had several downsides and challenges like communication gap between the customer and the developer, long turnaround time and backlog due to limited resources, project delays due to multiple iterations, and more.

As a result, people started looking for alternate methods of app development and that has led to a rise in the use of low-code and no-code app builder tools. As a result, businesses are now powering their non-IT professionals to build apps for their business or for their customers using such tools, thereby reducing the burden and dependency on IT infrastructure and workforce.

This has been the trend for quite some time now, eventually contributing to the growing popularity of citizen app development. The most common factors that contributed to this growth are as follows:

  • Increase in demand for mobile apps
  • High development costs and long turnaround time
  • Development talent drought
  • IT-backlog and delayed delivery
  • Demand for developers that understand the niche
  • Availability of LCNC (Low-code/No-code) resources

The existing gaps and loopholes of the development industry coupled with the availability of code-free app development software have together given rise to the popularity of citizen app development. Stay tuned and discover the pros of cons of this development approach.

What are the advantages of citizen app development?

Citizen app development is benefiting and changing the mobile app development industry. Some of its outstanding advantages are as discussed below:

Reduced IT backlog and discrepancies

One of the biggest advantages of citizen development is that it reduces an organization’s dependency on its IT department. IT professionals and experts can shed the burden of app development and focus on other technical aspects. This enables businesses to function smoothly even with a small tech team, reduce backlogs and avoid discrepancies that arise due to backlogs and congestion.

Shorter development cycles  

Citizen development is centred around low-code and no-code technologies that fast-track development and help businesses attain their goals in record time. Shorter development cycles help businesses achieve their goals faster, thereby creating bandwidth for more projects and accomplishments. This also boosts business-consumer relationships in organizations that build apps for their customers and end-users.

Cost-reduction opportunities

Citizen development not only helps in saving time, but it also makes development operations cost effective. The expenditure on IT resources and workforce can be reduced when the non-technical staff becomes capable of handling development. As more apps can be built in less time, businesses can take over more projects and increase their revenue.

Increased productivity and efficiency

Reduced responsibilities and faster development of solutions help the technical team within an organization to focus on other areas. On the other hand, non-IT personnel can contribute to the organizations productivity and efficiency by developing apps on their own. This enhances the overall performance of an organization and boosts their chances of success.

Lesser organizational silos

There may be times when IT professionals may fail to understand the needs and concerns of the customer or the end user. For instance, even an experienced developer may not always know what an eCommerce customer expects from their shopping app and how their journey should be shaped. Additionally, keeping such projects limited to the IT departments can often increase the silos. Citizen developers can help overcome these challenges and reduce the business-consumer gap. Thus, e-commerce app development is a viable option for businesses to grow online.

As evident, citizen development can ensure many benefits for a business or organization. In fact, choosing citizen developers who may not be tech experts but have a better understanding of the market can have its own merits. Their knowledge of the industry can help enhance the development project, resulting in more user-centric and efficient apps.

What are the challenges of citizen app development?

Like any other solution under the sun, citizen development also has its own set of challenges. Even though it has many advantages to offer, one cannot overlook the issues it entails. The familiar challenges of citizen development are as follows:

Adaptation of technologies

The app development industry is dynamic. Most of the technologies and trends are changing by the minute. Therefore, it might be difficult for the non-technical staff to understand the changes and keep pace with them. It is best to use a tool that does not require citizen developers to learn any new software and still ensures scalability.

Quality and security concerns  

If the software and infrastructure used for development is not robust, it can pose risks of security and safety as non-IT staff may not be capable of identifying such threats and risks. However, this issue can be dealt if the app development tool is free of such loopholes. Go with a reliable tool and ensure that your apps are secure.

Lack of control and authority

Delegating development to the non-technical staff also puts the power and control in their hands. This can take away authority from IT professionals or administrators and cause governance issues. Therefore, it is best to go with a software that enables team collaboration and allows administrators to control the projects and determine access to it.

Yes, citizen development is not free from challenges, but neither are the traditional ways of app development. Besides, there are ways to combat these challenges. For instance, if you go with reliable and secure technology, then quality and safety concerns can be eliminated.

Similarly, a tool that allows administrators to keep control over the development process and manage access levels can help avoid any silos and help with IT governance. To make the most of citizen development, all you have to do is find the right tool.

How to become a citizen app developer?

How can I implement citizen development within my organization? How can I train my employees to become citizen developers? How can I become a citizen app developer myself?

If these are the questions you have, then the simple answer is LC/NC (Low-code and No-code solutions). However, we recommend that you go with no-code mobile app development solutions as they often do not require any kind of hand-holding or training and are beginner friendly.

On the other hand, low-code solutions may still require your employees and staff to learn some kind of programming or get acquainted with complicated software. This defeats the whole purpose of citizen development that should be simple, fast, and cost-effective.

Therefore, whether you are planning to become an asset to your company by becoming a citizen developer yourself, or you are a business owner or IT professional who wants to implement citizen development in their organization, no-code development is the way to go. Subscribe to a no-code app development software and enable citizen development in your organization.

How is AppMySite powering citizen app development?

AppMySite has been powering citizen app development for years now. Our no-code app builder takes all the guesswork out of app development and makes it super simple, lightning fast and highly affordable.

Unlike low-code app builders, which require some amount of coding knowledge or experience, AppMySite is completely code free. Therefore, anyone with or without any IT experience can build an app with AppMySite.

With AppMySite, you can:

  • Power your non-IT professionals to build apps instantly without coding.
  • Create apps for any type of website and industry niche. 
  • Easily customize app design and add features with point and click options.
  • Create and manage multiple apps under one dashboard.
  • Invite your teams to collaborate on app projects, and much more.

Moreover, you will need no additional training for your employees or yourself as our intuitive DIY app builder guides you through and makes app development a breeze. It comes with a team collaboration features that enables administrators and IT supervisors to invite their teams to contribute to the app projects while keeping the ultimate control and access in their hands.

If you want to create feature-rich Android and iOS apps for your business or for your clients, AppMySite is the answer. You can go for our basic plans or enterprise solutions if you want to create apps in bulk. The choice is yours. Above all, you can also build and preview your apps for free and commit only when you are ready.

Wrapping up

That was all about citizen app development. If you have an organization where you want to eliminate the dependency on IT professionals and fast track your app development projects, then citizen development is the way to go. Use a no-code or low-code app builder and let your employees and stakeholders build apps for your business.

If you thought this was an interesting read, then do not forget to check out our other blogs on mobile app development and app industry trends. If you have queries regarding citizen development or your app development projects, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. We will get back to you soon.

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