Citizen developers to build business apps

By 2014 at least one quarter of new business apps will be built by regular Joe.

Citizen developers will build at least a quarter of new business applications by 2014, according to Gartner. In an era of shoestring IT budgets, end users are increasingly looking outside the IT organisation for application development (AD) and in many cases are building applications themselves.

Gartner defines a ‘citizen developer’ as an end user who creates new business applications for consumption by others, using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.

“End user application development (EUAD) is nothing new, but the risks and opportunities it presents have become much greater in recent years,” said Ian Finley, research vice president at Gartner. “In the past, EUAD posed limited risks to the organisation because it was typically limited to a single user or workgroup. However, end users can now build departmental, enterprise and even public applications. While this change enables organisations to empower end users and releases IT resources, it also heightens the risks of EUAD.”

Gartner analysts said that IT organisations need to adapt to the new realities of EUAD and build a citizen developer support programme.

Noted Eric Knipp, research director at Gartner: “EUAD is being transformed by several converging forces, including changing workforce demographics, the mass customisation and maturation of service-oriented architecture, simplified tools for new development and the power of cloud computing for delivering IT capabilities to end users with no IT assistance. Fighting these forces is a losing battle, but a citizen developer programme can reduce the risks and unlock potential in EUAD.”

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