Best Practices for Enabling Citizen Development – Hitachi Solutions (2023)

While digital transformation offers significant benefits, it also comes with a subsequent increase in tech demands that can stress an already-burdened IT department. That demand has made software development one of thefastest growth job markets— but when every company now finds itself in need, demand can outstrip supply.Forresterreports that by 2024, the U.S. could have a deficit of over 500,000 software developers.

Rather than overload existing IT personnel or fight over resources, some organizations are looking to empower their employees in different departments with the ability to design, iterate, and release new applications and programs with only minimal oversight from IT. This democratized approach to development is known as citizen development.

What is a Citizen Developer?

Citizen development is when any employee who is not a professional software developer or IT specialist creates and designs applications for their organization. These citizen developers are also referred to as citizen integrators, citizen data scientists, or citizen IT. While every citizen developer has different skills and education, most are not trained in a technology discipline and have little to no experience in coding. Rather, their backgrounds are in other organizational areas, such as business analysis, project management, financing, or operations.

The first citizen developers were those who took up development entirely on their own time and initiative, teaching themselves coding to solve problems without having to go through their IT departments. As companies increasingly saw the value of providing non-IT employees with the opportunity to improve overall operational efficiency, they began to encourage the practice. Today, most businesses make use of IT-sanctioned low-code or no-code platforms to give their citizen developers a place to experiment and solve their own business problems.

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What is the Role of Citizen Developers in a Company?

Citizen developers can take the initiative in thinking up and designing new applications that will simplify work tasks or create requested features and functions. While these programs are often simple, focused applications, they can help increase job efficiencies specific to that team or department.

The citizen development model can provide improved ROI for application resources by delivering a more agile and faster development cycle than traditional means of coding. Citizen developers have an advantage in thinking of effective solutions, as they typically have firsthand experience with the tasks and processes that they’re designing applications to perform.

With citizen developers handling these focused developments, existing IT personnel are empowered to work on more mission-critical tasks and high-end projects, such as data security and architectural upgrades.

What is the Role of Citizen Developers in Relation to IT?

Citizen developers cannot, and should not, replace a dedicated IT team. In addition to managing higher-level responsibilities for software and hardware, the IT team should provide oversight over how citizen developers create and integrate their applications. This prevents the creation of a “shadow IT” where applications and technology are developed and run entirely outside of the IT department’s purview. Rather than increase efficiencies, shadow IT can cause redundancies, conflicts, and critical errors.

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There should be a plan in place to enable IT team members to partner with citizen developers, either to follow up on best practices and compliance or to offer assistance and training. Over time, some citizen developers can further train and then transition into full-time IT roles, depending on the needs of the organization.

Organizations are likely to continue fostering citizen development as companies across different industries continue their digital transformation journeys.Gartnerhas found that, on average, 41% of non-IT employees are responsible for creating and customizing new technological solutions. Gartner predicts that by 2025, half of all the business buyers that purchase low-code development platforms will come from non-IT organizations.

Best Practices for Enabling Citizen Development – Hitachi Solutions (1)
Best Practices for Enabling Citizen Development – Hitachi Solutions (2)

Low-code vs. No-code Development

Citizen development can be accomplished through either no-code or low-code development:

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  • No-code development uses drag-and-drop graphic user interfaces (GUIs) that require zero knowledge of coding.
  • Low-code development also uses a simplified interface but allows for adjustment and customization through simple coding. The distinction is somewhat arbitrary, as no-code programming can be done within a low-code platform.

For example, if you wanted to make a new business application, you could use the turnkey function of thecanvas appsin Microsoft Power Apps to quickly put together a working prototype. You could start by finding a sample application or template which matches your business use-case and simply connect it to your data all without needed to adjust the code.

However, if you needed to add in some additional features or functions beyond the scope of the sample app, such as an additional data source or a button to create a new link, you would need to make some small coding adjustments to insert those functions. Thankfully, many users understand Excel formulas, and other basic patterns, and canvas power apps uses a very similar syntax which is well documented, and easy to implement. Understanding the simple principles of coding is more than just a way to add new features; utilizing coding standards ensures that applications function the way they should and makes them easier to maintain and update.

This adherence to best practices can help applications graduate from simple solutions for a single team to larger applications that can be shared across the entire enterprise. Think of it like building a tree house: While a basic understanding of construction can provide your children with a functional area to play in, if they intended on playing in it year round – including in inclement weather – you’d want to build a solid frame in accordance with good design principles.

IT departments or consultants can review low-code apps and ensure that coding best practices are followed. This pro-code development enables the community of citizen developers to innovate ideas, and then have those applications refined through advanced functions, such as custom connectors and PCI controls that go well beyond the scope of low-code development platforms. Moreover, Microsoft offers a complete “Center of Excellence” solution to provide IT departments with a turn-key solution for oversight and reporting.

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Benefits & Concerns of Citizen Development


There are more benefits to citizen development than just increased efficiency: According to a Forrester study on theTotal Economic Impact of Power Apps, it also offers measurable time- and cost-savings. However, if citizen developers aren’t provided with the right support and oversight, then problems may arise.

  • Application development becomes faster and more agile. Applications developed through low code / no code forms require less internal development effort, lower professional services fees and vendor applications costs, and are easier to maintain. In the TEI report, the average cost to develop an application was reported to be 74% less with Power Apps compared to traditional development.
  • Design is more aligned with user needs and experience. Employees in the field have the best understanding about what data needs to be collected and how information should be organized. Empowering them to design the application and interface allows for faster turnaround times and higher employee satisfaction. This solution is especially useful for mobile and remote workers, who can contribute to development while out of the office.
  • More time is provided for IT to focus on high priority needs. It’s already been said that citizen developers can take some of the burden off the IT team, enabling them to focus on more critical matters. Low-code and no-code platforms also provide IT departments with useful resources, as professional developers can use them for rapid proto-typing, reducing time spent designing their own applications.
  • Can increase transparency in development and resource sharing. The problem with early citizen development is that it was done out of sight and sometimes integrated without the knowledge of professional developers. Low-code and no-code platforms create a controlled environment that allows for oversight, reduces security risks, and eliminates redundancies, adding legitimacy to citizen development and bringing shadow IT out of the shadows.
  • Can save money on development and licensing costs. Developing more applications in-house eliminates the need to outsource development or to purchase third-party applications. In the TEI report, the composite organization replaced two applications resulting in a total savings of $742,449.
  • Improved agility and efficiency provide a competitive advantage. Applications can digitize manual and paper-based activities, reducing the need for certain manual tasks, saving time and labor. Within the TEI’s composite study, 1,650 users saved 1.6 hours per week by Year 3, which equated to an achievement of roughly $3.7 million in efficiencies.


  • It is not a full replacement for a dedicated IT team. Due to the nature of low-code and no-code, citizen development is limited in the scope of problems that it can solve. It’s not suited for any scenarios that require extensive customization or integration with multiple third-party applications.
  • Coordination with IT is still needed. A higher number of users means more applications, but it also brings a higher risk of potential errors or redundancies. This “too many cooks” scenario leaves the door open to shadow IT and can cause headaches. Citizen developers will still need to be trained on best practices and may require re-training when technology or compliance are updated.
  • Trusting but verifying your citizen developers is key. Without implementing key “Center of Excellence” policies – such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP) – you run the risk of critical errors by your users. Simple oversight and planning will prevent this from occurring.

Ways to Ensure Success with Citizen Development

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure — doing citizen development the right way from the start will prevent a lot of time, money, and pain down the line. Keep these best practices in mind when starting a citizen development initiative:

  • Educate all stakeholders to get them on the same page about the benefits, responsibilities, and expectations; this includes obtaining buy-in from senior management. After all, you wouldn’t want an upset VP to discover that an employee has been taking time to workshop an application instead of addressing an assigned task.
  • Determine policies that outline the people and tech involved and set boundaries and oversight between IT and citizen developers. You want to provide your citizens some autonomy from IT, but also ensure they’re documenting what needs to be documented and following correct processes.
  • Document everything in a central repository that’s widely accessible so that nothing is “hidden.” At the same time, you’ll want to use a system that employs permissions that limits access to some delicate data and systems. Just because everyone is granted some access to the vault doesn’t mean everyone should have a copy of the master key.
  • Consider having your IT department create embedded application templates with regulatory and compliance controls. This would automate much of the citizen development process, while ensuring best practices are consistently followed.
  • Have your professional developers set up comprehensive administration and governance tools to oversee a nurturing, yet controlled, environment for application development. This is key in balancing the opportunity for innovation and improvement with required standards, consistency, and governance. For example,Microsoft’s Center of Excellence (CoE)Starter Kit modules provide a helpful starting point for establishing best practice app development in Power Platform.

Do not overlook the importance of good governance. Setting restrictions and establishing oversight may not always feel like a priority but is fundamental towards the successful use of low-code and no-code development platforms. If you want to allow users to play with app development, you’ll also need to see what they’re doing and that they have access to appropriate environments. When you have fully licensed users acting without oversight, you can quickly run into problems like lack of data storage or — worst-case scenario — security threats from malicious users.

How Hitachi Solutions Can Assist with Citizen Development

Citizen development removes the roadblock between idea and execution, enabling non-IT personnel to quickly solve problems. The freedom to try iterative application design means your employees are more likely to find a successful solution. Different people see things in different ways, so when they’re allowed to try new approaches, your organization benefits from innovation.

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Software-as-a-Service platforms have made low-code and no-code tools more available, affordable, and viable. The use of drag-and-drop functionality, declarative tools, and simple UIs enables users to build apps for tasks within hours, instead of days. Because they’re designed to be used by non-developers, low-code platforms offer easy onboarding with a simple interface and walk-through tutorials.

If you’re looking to enhance your organization’s productivity, Hitachi Solutions is ready to help you get started with Microsoft Power Apps. OurPower Apps Maker Enablementtraining sets your team up for success with comprehensive learning and development designed to enhance collaboration between teams and transform productivity across your organization. Find out how Power Apps can enhance your business today —contact usto get started.


What is the citizen development strategy? ›

Citizen development is a bottom-up approach that empowers business users to develop their own application without involving IT via a no or low code platform.

What actions are needed for a citizen developer to create an automation? ›

Identify use cases for automation. Build a basic functional task bot using Automation 360 action packages. Explain how to use variables and advance type commands to create process automation in Automation 360. Record user actions and automate processes using the recorder.

What skills do you need to be a citizen developer? ›

No, you don't need any technical skills to become a citizen developer. Low-code and no-code platforms are designed to be user-friendly & intuitive, making it easy for anyone to create applications.

What is the role of a citizen developer? ›

A citizen developer is an employee with no/low coding knowledge who creates software applications for their team or others, using low-code/no-code platforms without the involvement of IT. Citizen developer is a persona and not a role.

What are the benefits of Citizen development? ›

Citizen development streamlines the app development process by empowering skilled employees to build their own solutions. This way, redundancies, and shadow IT are eliminated to a great extent. Organizational transparency is also enhanced by enabling sharing of tools and resources.

What is an example of a citizen development? ›

What is an example of citizen development? An example of citizen development is when a business user creates a custom application using low-code or no-code development tools to solve a specific business problem. For instance, suppose a sales team wants a tool to manage their customer contacts more efficiently.

What are the 4 major responsibilities of citizens? ›

Support and defend the Constitution. Stay informed of the issues affecting your community. Participate in the democratic process. Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.

What are the three main development strategies? ›

Three Strategies of State Economic Development: Entrepreneurial, Industrial Recruitment, and Deregulation Policies in the American States.

What are the 4 steps of automation? ›

A comprehensive and effective systematic approach to business process automation consists of 4 phases: analysis, implementation, integration, and maintenance and support.

What are 3 qualities of a good developer? ›

6 characteristics that can make you an outstanding developer
  • You're a builder. It's fascinating to learn how things work. ...
  • You're a team player. ...
  • You're a creative problem-solver. ...
  • You're empathetic. ...
  • You're determined (and maybe a bit competitive) ...
  • You love learning new things.
Jun 3, 2022

What are 4 ways to become a citizen? ›

Most common paths to U.S. Citizenship:
  • I am the Child of a U.S. Citizen.
  • I am Married to a U.S. Citizen.
  • I am Serving in the U.S. Military.
  • I am a Lawful Permanent Resident of 5 Years.
Aug 18, 2022

How do you make a good citizen model of duties? ›

Being a good citizen
  1. having respect for others and their property.
  2. knowing your rights and respecting the rights of others.
  3. being informed on the issues of the day.
  4. learning the facts of our true history, both good and bad.
  5. having compassion and empathy for others.
  6. taking responsibility for your own actions.
Jan 24, 2023

What is the value of citizen development? ›

Citizen development allows non-IT employees to build business applications with low- and no-code platforms. In turn, they can improve business processes that free up the IT team to focus on more business-critical activities.

What is the difference between a citizen developer and a developer? ›

What Is Citizen Development? In simplest terms, Citizen development is app development carried out by non-IT, business-centric employees. Instead of professional developers creating apps, non-IT “citizens” apply their business process know-how to do the job.

What are the cons of citizen developer? ›

The Downside of Employing Citizen Developers

Reliance on low-code/no-code products can cause a significant deterioration in product quality. A major reason behind the decrease in quality is often inadequate training for these developers.

What is your role as a citizen for development to be more sustainable? ›

by walking, bicycling or using public transit instead of your car; by sweeping your driveway instead of using the hose, by not watering your lawn, or by not letting the tap. run to avoid wasting water; by choosing a more energy-efficient automobile.

What is the role of a citizen to improve the environment? ›

Environmental Citizenship requires new ways of thinking and acting. Being an active environmental citizen includes recognising the value of liveable environments for humans and nature, promoting conservation and restoration of resources, and supporting nature protection and biodiversity.

What are three good citizenship examples? ›

being respectful of other people and their property. being respectful of school property. following school rules. displaying good character (responsibility, honesty, good listening, kindness)

What are 5 examples of citizenship? ›

Usually, citizenship based on circumstances of birth is automatic, but an application may be required.
  • Citizenship by family (jus sanguinis). ...
  • Citizenship by birth (jus soli). ...
  • Citizenship by marriage (jus matrimonii). ...
  • Naturalization. ...
  • Citizenship by investment or Economic Citizenship. ...
  • Citizenship by Honorary Conferment.

What are 2 examples of citizen participation? ›

Civic participation encompasses a wide range of formal and informal activities, such as voting, volunteering, participating in group activities, and community gardening.

What are the 5 duties of a citizen? ›

General Obligations of Citizens
  • Paying of taxes.
  • Obeying the laws of the state.
  • Participating in the political process.
  • Protection of public property.
  • Defense of the state and crime prevention.

What are the five duties of citizens in the society? ›

Obeying the laws, registering for selective service, defending our nation, serving on juries and paying taxes are all obligations and examples of active participation in the society and government.

What are two examples of responsibilities only for US citizens? ›

Citizens have a responsibility to participate in the political process by registering and voting in elections. Serving on a jury is another responsibility of citizenship.

What are the 5 elements of good strategy development? ›

These five elements of strategy include Arenas, Differentiators, Vehicles, Staging, and Economic Logic. This model was developed by strategy researchers, Donald Hambrick and James Fredrickson. To achieve key objectives, every business must assemble a series of strategies.

What are development strategies examples? ›

5 Learning and Development Strategy Examples to Inspire You
  • Increasing employee engagement and wellbeing.
  • Improving business productivity.
  • Improving employee retention.
  • Attracting the best talent for businesses.
  • Increasing profitability.
  • Improving the customer experience.
  • Creating a stronger company culture.

What are the two development strategies? ›

These can be placed in two broad categories: Those policies that rely on free markets to stimulate growth and development, and those approaches that rely more on state intervention and central planning.

What are the 3 A's in automation? ›

It is made up of three interwoven solutions: Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Automation.

What is the rule of 5 for automation? ›

If you're looking for an end-to-end automation solution, a custom solution can be built to your specific requirements. Forrester analyst Craig Le Clair recommends that traditional RPA be governed by the rule of fives: “No more than five decisions, no more than five apps, and no more than 500 clicks.”

What is the first rule of automation? ›

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” – Bill Gates.

What are 3 manual tasks which could be automated? ›

Below, 11 members of Forbes Technology Council offer valuable advice on functions that businesses should look into automating.
  • Customer Support. ...
  • Marketing Testing. ...
  • Mass-Scale Data Analysis. ...
  • Security And Data Protection. ...
  • Repetitive Customer Management Tasks. ...
  • Measuring And Forecasting. ...
  • Recruiting.
Oct 9, 2019

What is the simplest form of automation answer? ›

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

While RPA is the simplest form of automation, it has many limitations that are addressed with advanced automation technologies.

What are the 3 main components of Automation Anywhere tool? ›

Automation Anywhere follows a distributed architecture. It mainly has three components that work together to achieve tasks - Control Room, Bot Creator, and Bot Runner. It's a web-based management system, and automating tasks is accomplished using the control room.

What are the three 3 factors that determine the effectiveness of automation testing? ›

When creating a test automation culture, you need to look at the three main test automation factors: product, people and process. In order to run successful test automation practices, you will need to choose the right test automation product, or tool.

What are the three pillars of developer experience? ›

Wróbel writes, “When it comes to software development itself, there are three pillars of developer experience: usability, findability, and credibility.

What makes a strong developer? ›

Having excellent problem-solving skills, confidence to achieve, and a can-do attitude toward any challenge are important software developer competencies, which make that developer a valued resource in any organization.

What is your greatest strength as a developer? ›

Software Developer: What Are Your Biggest Strengths & Weaknesses?
  • The Adaptable, Flexible Software Engineer.
  • The Creative and Curious Creator of Code.
  • The Determined and Diligent Software Engineer.
  • Your Reliability and Ability to Work in Teams Makes Them Successful.
  • You're Efficient, Focused, Systematic, and Organized.

What are 10 characteristics of a good citizen? ›

Characteristics of a good citizen
  • Trustworthiness and honesty.
  • Courtesy.
  • Respect for the rights of others.
  • Responsibility.
  • Accountability.
  • Self-reliance.
  • Respect for the law.
  • Patriotism.

What are the 7 steps to becoming a citizen? ›

  • Requirements for Naturalization. ...
  • Download Application and Collect Documents Needed. ...
  • Submit the Form. ...
  • Schedule an appointment for fingerprints. ...
  • Complete the interview. ...
  • Receive a decision. ...
  • Taking the Oath of Allegiance.

What is an example of a good citizen? ›

A person can be a good citizen by respecting others, respecting the law, and participating in their community. A good citizen works to better their space and the space of others by supporting others the way they would want to be supported.

What defines a good citizen? ›

Good citizenship is sometimes viewed as requiring both intellectual skills (such as critical thinking) and participatory skills (such as deliberating civilly, monitoring the government, building coalitions, managing conflict peacefully and fairly, and petitioning, speaking or testifying before public bodies).

What is a good responsibility citizen? ›

A good citizen must live in peace and harmony with his neighbours and fellow citizens. He must respect the institutions of his country. A good citizen must always respect the laws of the state and should have no patience with criminals and anti-social elements. He must be vigilant against the enemies of the country.

How do I change development mode? ›

Click the Windows icon and the Settings icon, and select Update & Security. Select For developers and turn on the switch under Developer Mode (or select Developer Mode in certain system versions). In the displayed dialog box, select Yes.

How do I reset my citizen app? ›

Tap "Settings" →"Apps" →"CITIZEN" →"Storage" on the Android phone and execute "CLEAR DATA" and "CLEAR CACHE".

What is citizen led development? ›

What is citizen development? Citizen development is defined as a process where non-IT-trained employees become software developers by leveraging low-code/no-code (LCNC) platforms to build business-critical applications. Applications created using citizen development methods are sanctioned and approved by IT.

What is a citizen developer Microsoft? ›

The Citizen Developer is a user who builds applications to facilitate the processes. of business operations while following the development guidelines of IT. Unlike. a professional developer, they may not have formal training in programming, and. developing may not be part of their actual job description.

How do I enable developer mode when its disabled? ›

Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Developer Mode to show the Developer Mode toggle switch.

What happens when you enable developer options? ›

Let's dive in.
  • Rooting and Installing Other OSes.
  • Speed Up Device Animations.
  • Fake Your Device's GPS Location.
  • Speed Up High-End Games.
  • Check App Memory Usage.
Jul 12, 2021

Why doesn t my citizen eco drive work? ›

Its power reserve may be insufficient. Expose the dial to direct sunlight to charge it. Depending on the model, charging time for a watch to go from stopped to normal operation may vary.

Can you use citizen app without paying for it? ›

The Free Citizen App Shows You What Risks and Dangers Are Nearby.

Why is the citizen app not giving me alerts? ›

Go to Settings > Notifications > Citizen, and make sure that Notifications are not blocked. If you would like Citizen notifications to be delivered with sound, make sure the “Show Silently” setting is unselected.

What are the four steps of Project citizen? ›

The Project Citizen Process
  • Step 1-Identifying Problems. ...
  • Step 2-Selecting a Problem(s) ...
  • Step 3- Researching the problem. ...
  • Step 4-Develop a portfolio to present your research. ...
  • Step 5- Presenting your Portfolio in a Simulated Public Hearing. ...
  • Step 6- Reflection.

What is the difference between shadow it and citizen development? ›

Shadow IT happens because business environments push employees to leverage unapproved technology to get work done better and faster. Citizen development gives developers the tools they need to create the exact solution they need. This removes the incentive for employees to download unapproved applications.

What are the different types of citizen developers? ›

Citizen developers using no code development platforms. Citizen developers power users using low code platforms. Professional developers using low/pro code to support business requests. Professional developers using pro code to improve the company's technology.


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