‘Citizen developer’ success requires strong IT oversight

In the hands of business users, low-code and no-code tools can be powerful — and risky. Here’s how IT leaders are setting up guardrails to ensure projects don’t go off track.

‘Citizen developer’ success requires strong IT oversight
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The “citizen developer” revolution sounds very promising. After all, what enterprise wouldn’t want to be more agile while reducing costs and accelerating their ability to bring solutions to market.

But the wide array of platforms that enable end users to create workflows, automations, or even entire applications without the skills of professional developers invite the same kinds of problems caused by shadow IT if companies aren’t careful about how they are adopted.

That includes not just security and business risks but also IT problems due to difficulty of maintaining projects, technical debt, and manageability issues, says Jason Wong, an analyst at Gartner, which predicts that low-code and no-code users, aka “citizen developers,” will outnumber professional developers at large organizations four-to-one by 2023.

Digital disruption and hyperautomation will only see adoption of low-code and no-code tools accelerating, according to Gartner analyst Fabrizio Biscotti. If IT leaders don’t get out in front of the downsides of increasing reliance on citizen developers, significant problems await.

Here’s how several adopters of low-code and workflow-automation platforms are paving the way for more productive, risk-free use of these user-empowering tools.

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