There are enterprising workers out there who want to solve the problems that they and their coworkers encounter every day. Now, some of those resourceful individuals will choose to go through IT, put in a request, and wait for their software or application to be built.

Others, though? They can’t wait. They’ll build solutions themselves using spreadsheets, desktop databases, business analytics, and other tools they have access to. And while their problem may be solved, there are IT issues beneath the surface of that solution that they’re not aware of.

It’s up to you if you view this as a problem to be quashed quickly so it doesn’t disrupt your IT governance or security strategy, or to see it as a challenge with the potential to harness for productivity and value. If you think the latter, welcome! You’re part of the Citizen Development movement. To harness that power, organizations are increasingly relying on leading low-code platforms, which provide different entry points into the development process for people of all development skills and experience.

Gartner recognizes the value in incorporating non-traditional IT members into your development process and the potential for low-code platforms to serve as the enabler of citizen developers. Citizen development carries great import–so much so that it is one of the five critical use cases Gartner uses to measure vendors appearing on the 2020 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms.

All Aboard the Citizen Development Train

The citizen development train has clearly left the station. Gartner predicts that by 2023, the number of active citizen developers at large enterprises will be at least four times the number of professional developers. But this train still needs guard rails from IT to keep it moving safely and speedily toward its destination.

The benefits of a well-run, adroitly governed citizen development program are plenty. According to IDC, IT organizations are projected to spend more than 50% of their budget on digital transformation efforts by 2023 (a figure most likely expedited by COVID-19). Digitalization is crucial to remaining competitive and differentiating yourself. The need to digitize goes beyond IT. All processes, policies, data, and know-how in any given organization need to be digitized and continuously improve.

IDC predicts that by 2023, over 500 million apps will be developed. With a shortage of available developers, it’s important to ensure there are other means of addressing that ever-growing software demand. That’s why citizen development programs are so crucial.

Citizen development, by way of low-code, allows business stakeholders–those closest to those processes and policies–to work with IT to develop those solutions themselves and aid the organization in its digital transformation journey. Subsequently, this frees up IT to concentrate on more complex and business-critical technical issues and not get bogged down in software requests.

Mendix and Citizen Development

Gartner’s 2020 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Low Code Application Platforms report specifically measures the enablement of citizen developers to build line-of-business, web-based, data-oriented applications within a two-week period using no-code tools for B2E scenarios.

Mendix received the second-highest score with a 3.8 out of 5 and received the highest score in 3 of the other 4 critical use case categories amongst the leading enterprise low-code application platforms.

What sets Mendix apart from other vendors in this space is our distinctive ability to address two seemingly divergent needs: delivering mission-critical systems built on low-code, and making software development more accessible to people without development backgrounds, also commonly referred to as citizen developers.

At the core of the Mendix platform is a model-based development system whose runtime and architecture allow for robustness and scale. From that, we offer different entry points based on users’ familiarity and experience with developing software:

Mendix Studio: a no-code development environment empowering domain experts without coding experience

Mendix Studio Pro: a low-code development environment optimized for delivering mission-critical core systems, empowering professional developers

Regardless of your approach to Citizen Development, chances are it will go through no-code and low-code options to provide the appropriate tools and guard rails for successful development outside of the core IT group, and you will therefore need to identify the best fit for your organization.

For more relevant information, you can check out our other blog posts that dive deeper into the five core use cases as defined by the Gartner Critical Capabilities Enterprise Low Code Application Platforms. Or, you can just take a look at how Mendix could work for your organization by taking the tour. Click below.