How to empower more app creators & speed up your digital transformation
Problem #1: a shortage of skilled devs
According to Morgan Stanley, there are 26 million developers in the world and we need 38 million developers by 2024.
Problem #2: the backlog
A shortage of traditional in-house developers causes an app request backlog and “app gaps”.
86% of IT Decision makers say the biggest challenge to digitally transforming their business is too few software developers.
We need digital transformation and we need it now
Make no mistake, there is a critical need for every business to rapidly create business applications that:
- Increase efficiency
- Streamline business processes
- Enable better experiences for employees & customers
- Help you stay ahead of the competition
Here’s a story about how one courageous person helped to solve the “app gap”…
She’s a Business Analyst at Slowdevs Incorporated.
She gets by with a little help from Excel
There’s a specific business process that she manages, for herself, using Macros in a spreadsheet.
The process used to be a mess, giving Liz constant migraines, but she’s worked out all the steps and it runs efficiently now.
Too bad she’s the only one that uses her solution
Liz’s solution works great for Liz, but it’s in Excel. Some of the negatives that go along with that are limited/siloed usage, security issues, and value loss if Liz leaves the company.
Time to turn that mega spreadsheet into a real app
After conferring with her boss, Jack, they come to the conclusion that her solution should be shared with as many people in the company as possible. That way, it won’t be siloed and more people can get value from the application.
The app request
Liz submits an app request to IT so they can turn it into a real software application. She sends the request on Thursday, and the following Monday, she gets an email response from the IT DevOps Manager.
Liz almost falls out of her Aeron chair as she reads the email…
“ETA: 12-16 months”
We need more (live) bodies
She thinks, “Are you freaking kidding me? A junior developer should be able to knock this kind of app out in 3 weeks or less. I guess the devs really are busy, smh. I heard they’re having trouble hiring new people.”
Wait in the purgatorial cue or take action now?
Liz and her boss have reached a fork in the road. Continue with the status quo and the Excel solution (that does no good for anyone but Liz), or look for an alternative.
While scrolling through her LinkedIn feed, Liz came across a post about Bob, a frustrated employee that taught himself how to create no-code apps.
What is no-code?
No-code is a technology that lets you build applications using visual development tools, even if you’re not a traditional software developer.
Bob built so many useful no-code apps on his own that he was promoted from Business Analyst to Director of Digital Transformation.
He is now in charge of helping other capable employees become Citizen Developers.
Now his company is creating “good enough” apps that get completed in a matter of days, as opposed to months. Enabling rapid changes.
What is a Citizen Developer?
A Citizen Developer is a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others, using development tools for no-code or low-code.
Liz was so inspired by Bob’s story that she started doing research into how she could quickly become a Citizen Developer at her company. She eventually reached her goals and helped to launch a Citizen Development Program, with the blessing of her CEO.
What is a Citizen Development Program?
A Citizen Developer Program broadens the landscape, within the company, of who can develop, innovate and deliver value for the business and the customer. It’s a program that isn’t centralized to either IT or a core development group. Ideally, it’s sanctioned and supported by corporate leadership.
Liz and Bob’s stories show how someone at the grassroots level of the company can inspire a culture of innovation.
How can corporate leadership create and manage a formal Citizen Development Program?
Gartner says the adoption of no/low code apps is growing at more than 20% per year. And that by 2023, will be adopted by over 50% of medium-large companies.
Start by asking yourself these 3 questions…
- Is there an IT backlog of requests for app development?
- Is the backlog wait unacceptable?
- Are these apps considered mission-critical, to people other than the person requesting them?
If the answer is yes to all three questions, then a Citizen Developer Program may serve you well.
An IDC survey of 380 enterprises shows 48.6% of respondents purchasing no-code/low-code platforms to move innovation forward in-house.
Gathering the ingredients
The department + software + people mix.
Stay tuned for the next part of this post, where we’ll show how to start your own Citizen Development Program…