9 Ways Citizen Developers are Changing the Software Landscape

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9 Ways Citizen Developers are Changing the Software Landscape

2016 saw the rise of the citizen developer, blurring the lines between creators and users. How will this new breed impact the software development industry?

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Applications Are Being Developed Much Faster

More than half of organizations engaged in citizen development report that application builders are able to create applications in less than two weeks. Additionally, 42 percent of citizen developers are developing applications at least twice as fast compared to traditional development.

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Citizen Developers Are Building Higher-Tier Applications

Citizen development is being used for all types and tiers of applications. Applications designed by citizen developers for mission-critical and long-term use (such as Enterprise Resource Planning and supply chain management) rose slightly to 45 percent in 2016.

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Building Applications Is Becoming a Daily Responsibility

Building and maintaining applications has become more central to the way line-of-business professionals do their jobs. According to the Quickbase report, 76 percent of citizen developers consider developing applications as part of their day job, up from 68 percent last year.

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Use Cases for Citizen Development Apps Are Growing

On average, organizations estimate that a platform supporting some portion of development by line-of-business developers could be used to build 26 different types of applications. IT help desk, project, asset and workforce management were selected among the top use cases for no-code development by survey respondents.

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Customer-Facing Software Is Growing

The customer experience now more than ever is a key business driver. Applications must adapt easily and quickly to reflect rapidly changing customer needs. This year, citizen developers at 35 percent of organizations report building customer-facing web and mobile applications, up from 27 percent in 2015.

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IT Department Backlogs Are Shrinking

For IT developers, trying to keep up with demand for custom applications is a never-ending battle that often generates a large monthly backlog of unfulfilled requests. Citizen development platforms reduced backlog by 65 percent on average, compared to traditional development platforms, helping IT meet its service level agreements (SLAs).

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Citizen Developers Are Being Leveraged Across the Organization

Citizen developers are found in lines of business 79 percent of the time, according to the survey. Other areas where these app builders most commonly reside are central services (62 percent) and central IT (39 percent).

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Collaborative Development Models Are Emerging

The spread of citizen development has created opportunities for IT and the business to collaborate — and ultimately build better apps to an exact set of specifications or process. This, in turn, drives higher operational efficiency and team productivity. According to survey respondents, a business-led collaboration method is most common (62 percent of organizations), under which citizen developers take primary responsibility in the app-building process, requesting help from IT only as needed.

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Skill Sets Are Growing Among Citizen Developers

Though citizen developers use tools that don't require coding, not all are without technical ability. Application builders involved in citizen development have an expanding set of technical skills that enable them to create applications ranging from simple workflows to more mission-critical or externally facing applications. Front- or back-end scripting skills now can be found in 44 percent of application builders, up from just 36 percent in 2015.

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How Microsoft Is Applying AI for Enterprise Digital Transformation

At its Ignite 2016 conference in Atlanta this week, Microsoft demonstrated how it is using artificial intelligence across the board to deliver smarts throughout its product line to help customers get more out of the Microsoft technologies they use. In short, Microsoft is trying to democratize AI. "We are not pursuing AI to beat humans at games," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during his Ignite keynote. "We are pursuing AI so that we can empower every person and every institution that people build with tools of AI, so that they can go on to solve the most pressing problems of our society and our economy." Nadella said Microsoft is infusing every application—including Cortana, Office 365 and Dynamics 365—with intelligence. And the building blocks that constitute intelligence are available as developer services in Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, he said. Meanwhile, Cortana Intelligence Suite—which...