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Top Five Citizen Development Concerns and How to Address Them

Don’t let your fears get in the way of reducing your backlog and driving innovation. Gain actionable insights on how to address the five most common concerns IT leaders have when considering citizen development.

June 25th 2019

While many IT leaders and organizations have already bought in to the value of citizen development, you might be experiencing some pushback or fears related to the program. Are you worried about your business users having access to development tools and impacting the security or quality of the apps you deploy? Read on to learn about the 5 most common citizen development fears and how to debunk them.

1.   App security and compliance will suffer if not built my professional developers.

Of all the concerns IT leaders have with citizen development, maintaining security and compliance within industry regulations is at the top. By using a secure platform which meets your industry standards, you can mitigate this risk. Leveraging testing automation software and establishing a governance process will keep your apps secure.  For detailed recommendations on how to address security and compliance with your citizen developers, check out our Governance (link to governance in Pilot) section.

2.   Apps developed by citizen developers will not meet our quality standards.

When it comes to citizen development, questions about quality will come up. Educating your citizen developers on building business cases, using sandboxes to develop on a low-code platform, and understanding the software development lifecycle (SDLC) will help ensure that applications meet your company’s quality standards. Pairing citizen developers with members of the IT team will also provide them with a trainer who can show them the ropes and guide them through the development process. To learn more about the different learning tools to help get your business teams become qualified citizen developers, view our “Training” (link to Training section in Pilot) section for recommended resources.

3.   It will be difficult to scale citizen development across my organization.

Scalability is key for any successful program. How does your IT team manage applications being developed within lines of business across your entire enterprise? To address this fear of scalability, you can start small by rolling out your pilot program only with developers and then you can recruit more talent down the line. If you’re experiencing pushback from your team, take a moment to step back. Look at the ROI that’s being created and consider having regular cadence reporting on overall app development, innovation and backlog reduction metrics. Don’t forget to highlight relevant use cases or come up with new ones where citizen development can add value. Sometimes all it takes is hearing how others have done it. Visit the customer stories page (link to customer stories lander) to get expert advice and proven success metrics of citizen development.

4.   Apps will become outdated and mismanaged without maintenance and support.

As you look at ways of scaling your program out to your citizen developers, concerns over maintenance and support of applications will come up. Who will maintain the app? What if the app owner leaves the company? How do I know that this app already doesn’t exist? You can avoid these concerns by building out a thorough process on app maintenance and how citizen development and IT will work together. You’ll want to build into your process app review and usage evaluation guidelines to prevent development of duplicate applications or maintaining applications without active users. Having an advisory council to manage your program will help keep the process in tact while also providing a governing body to help you evaluate app requests and overall program performance. For a deeper look into process and testing automation, check out the Automate section (link to Automate section) on the Scale page.

5.   IT developers will lose their jobs to citizen developers.

Many developers fear losing their job when they hear the term “citizen development.” Explaining to your IT team that citizen developers are here to help reduce the backlog and allow more time for innovation and company-wide initiatives will be key in helping them get on board. In addition, they’ll have more control over the apps built and deployed citizen developers, rather than trying to uncover and manage the use of  Shadow IT applications. Communicating to your team that a citizen developer would never take the job of an IT developer and the clear breakout of their roles and responsibilities as documented here (IT/Cit Dev roles and responsibilities), will help you avoid any confusion that can impact the success of the program.

Now that we’ve debunked those fears, it’s time to get your citizen developers on board and watch that backlog disappear.



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