A Guide to Citizen Development

What is a Citizen Developer?

The term "citizen developer" has been gaining traction in the corporate world. It refers to a non-technical individual who can build and deploy applications without relying on IT professionals or software developers. This type of person is often referred to as a "citizen coder" or "citizen programmer." If you are unsure what this means, do not worry—we will break it down for you.

What Does a Citizen Developer Do?

A citizen developer is someone who uses low-code development platforms like Kettufy to create applications for their business without needing any coding skills or experience. Kettufy's low-code development tool offers users drag-and-drop user interfaces that make creating apps easy and intuitive. It also allows users to instantly design, build, test and deploy apps with minimal effort and cost, resulting in increased operational efficiency. Many companies are now turning to citizen developers because they can get apps built faster and cheaper than if they had hired a professional development team.

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What is the Eligibility to Become a Citizen Developer?

Here are the four crucial abilities business users need to have in order to construct a successful citizen development framework: 

  • Knowledge of Business Operations in its Entirety - An expert understanding of numerous business operations, their shortcomings, and bottlenecks is required for citizen developers to create effective business apps. They can use this information to examine their company objectives and develop the best procedures and business applications possible. 
  • Advanced Digital Proficiency - A deep understanding of business processes must be linked with sophisticated levels of digital skills in order to provide a robust citizen development framework. This encompasses knowledge of no-code automation, document creation, and workflow analytics. 


  • Collaboration with Other Departments - Utilising citizen developers to their full potential across departments is one of the key goals of low-code and no-code platforms. In such a scenario, a citizen developer must serve as a liaison, guaranteeing seamless IT and business engagement in order to jointly accomplish organisational goals. 
  • Strong Desire to Learn New Skills - The idea of citizen development has lately gained popularity, laying the groundwork for the next digital revolution. In such circumstances, having the motivation to constantly improve is crucial, and business users must try to educate themselves independently and become proficient in low-code abilities.

What are the Benefits of Citizen Development?

The use of citizen developers has several advantages that can benefit businesses of all sizes.  

  • For one thing, using citizen developers allows companies to quickly build apps without having to hire expensive outside help.  
  • Additionally, these applications are typically more secure than those developed by outside teams because they are designed specifically for the company's needs and are not open source like many off-the-shelf products. 


  • Finally, using citizen developers allows companies to be more agile and responsive when it comes to developing new features, building solutions, or responding to customer needs.

How to Create a Framework for Citizen Development?

Your business may greatly increase efficiency, automate processes, and speed up app development with the support of citizen development. However, there must be a citizen developer infrastructure in place for them to provide excellent outcomes. Use this framework to give your citizen developers more authority. 

  • Choose the Most Appropriate Low-code or No-code Platform - Based on its capabilities, use cases, and how effectively your company will embrace it, choose the ideal solution for your business. 
  • Work with a Service Provider Like Kettufy - The platform's user interface may be taught to citizen programmers by a service provider like Kettufy. With us, such a citizen development program can be a one-off or an ongoing support. 


  • Look for Enhanced Agility - Agile business methods should be combined with automated processes to ensure that your operations adapt as rapidly and accurately as feasible. 
  • Empower Programmers without Coding - Encourage IT mentoring and continuing assistance. The process of creating applications will need to be monitored by the IT department. 
  • Ensure that Shadow IT is Properly Governed - Encourage citizen developers to avoid utilising the IT team's disfavored platforms, applications, and services.

What is Shadow IT?

Shadow IT is a term used to describe any software solutions created by employees outside of the authority or control of an organization's IT department. This term applies to both hardware and software solutions that may not meet security standards or corporate policies. Some examples include unauthorised cloud services, unapproved SaaS applications, unauthorised downloads from the internet, etc. While these solutions can provide quick fixes for certain problems, they often come with significant risks, such as data breaches, noncompliance issues, malware infections, etc., which can ultimately lead to costly repercussions for organizations down the line. 

What is the Difference Between Shadow IT and Citizen Development?

When it comes to the development of software solutions, there are two main methods: Citizen Development and Shadow IT. Both have their own pros and cons, so understanding the difference between the two can help you decide which one is best for your organization. 

  • Unlike so-called "shadow-IT," which takes place without IT's knowledge or oversight, citizen development is closely supervised by IT. However, just endorsing the work of these amateur programmers is not always a wise course of action. 
  • With the advent of code-no-code platforms that require no programming knowledge at all, the line between citizen development and shadow IT has become murkier. IT governance is limited or nonexistent in many of the software solutions targeted at citizen developers that are now accessible. Simply giving the green light for a business to start developing its business apps is insufficient on the part of IT. The IT department must actively steer and control the entire process. 
  • This compartmentalised citizen development strategy disregards how contemporary teams operate. Business developers very rarely create apps from scratch, without help, and then maintain them for the duration of their existence. Instead, most businesses use cross-functional teams that collaborate to develop apps and comprise experienced developers and business specialists. 

Citizen Development Alternative

No matter how technically skilled the business users are, a "DIY" application they create might still not be able to address non-functional issues like security, stability, performance, and scalability. The worst-case scenario is that not all enterprise data sources might be able to be integrated with the application. 

However, a cross-functional development strategy delivers the whole-team collaboration needed for businesses to successfully utilise developer expertise and business understanding, making it a preferable solution. 

Employing experts from business and IT to collaborate on cross-functional projects that result in cutting-edge applications allows organisations to make the most of the diverse knowledge and skills they possess. 

Developers need a platform that enables them to quickly construct complete software solutions while collaborating with business stakeholders to develop crucial apps. Many IT teams continue to employ ad hoc, challenging-to-learn tools that necessitate deep coding or full-stack development skills. 

These obstacles prevent business professionals and even inexperienced programmers from making substantial inputs to application development. Instead of relying on code, frameworks, and libraries, a low-code, automation, AI (Artificial Intelligence), and visual development strategy using the Kettufy Low-code platform can enable whole-team application development. 

How Can Kettufy Support Your Path Toward Citizen Development?

Most businesses are overburdened with their IT departments. The number of open requests for solutions is enormous, and they never seem to run out. In light of this, it is crucial to enable citizen developers, and all they require is a solid low-code platform to deliver on their promise of resolving both the financial and personnel issues. 

You may easily become a citizen developer with the help of Kettufy's user-friendly low-code platform. It contains a lot of excellent tools that are simple to learn and does not require much coding or technical knowledge to operate. To start designing applications at a low cost, sign up for a free trial right away.

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Citizen development is becoming an increasingly trendy way for businesses of all sizes to quickly develop custom applications without having to rely on costly outside help. By leveraging low-code development platforms and empowering non-technical individuals within the organisation, companies can save time and money while still creating secure and reliable applications that meet their unique needs. If you are considering bringing in a citizen developer for your next project, be sure to do your research first so that you know you are making the right decision for your business! 

Whereas shadow IT poses a greater risk due to its lack of oversight from corporate governance; however, it is often chosen simply because it offers a “quick fix” solution or provides access to otherwise inaccessible technologies/applications/services that may not be available through official channels. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual organization to decide which approach works best for them—but understanding the differences between citizen development vs shadow IT is essential in making an informed decision.

Bonus Information

What All Can You Build using Kettufy Low-code Platform?

#1 Workflow and Process Management App.

#2 Application for Human Resource Management.

#3 CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software.

#4 Tool for Asset Management.

#5 Application for Case Management.

#6 App for Healthcare Management.

#7 Apps for Hospitality.

#8 SaaS Development.

#9 Applications for Regulatory Compliance.

#10 Citizen Development with Kettufy.

#11 Omnichannel Endpoints for Core Systems.

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