Application leaders in IT are facing increasing pressure from the business to modernize applications and create new web and mobile apps. To meet the surging demand, IT must embrace and encourage citizen development initiatives to democratize app development at scale and velocity.
Gartner conducted a primary research survey this summer to explore the state of citizen development (by non-IT personnel) in enterprise app development in order to better understand the impact of digital innovation being driven outside of IT. We asked questions that provide insights into:
- Which business units have active citizen development initiatives?
- Who are the citizen developers and what are their skill sets?
- What types of apps are being built and what tools are used?
- How is success being measured?
What we discovered is that citizen development is already a reality in many enterprises. Our global study indicates that half of the respondents knew of active citizen development initiatives at their organizations, while for the group that did not have active initiatives, 13% are evaluating the idea with 4% of those planning to initiate citizen development within the next 12 months.
However, only 16% of respondents said that IT was fully involved with citizen development, while another 36% said IT mainly provides back-end support. Overall, these numbers are far too low for effective and successful citizen development programs. According to Gartner’s definition, IT must be involved is some aspect of citizen development; otherwise the activities are more akin to “shadow IT.” Application and IT leaders need to embrace and plan to support these initiatives more enthusiastically for mutual benefit of the business and IT.
To read more about the survey findings and Gartner’s recommended actions, check out this research note: “Survey Analysis: Citizen Development Is Happening and IT Needs to Be More Engaged“.