In the evolving landscape of business, the concept of citizen developers has gained significant traction. As Gartner is expecting their number to be 4x higher than professional developers[1]. A citizen developer is a non-technical user who creates new business applications using development environments sanctioned by corporate IT. However, the notion that citizen developers can replace the need for collaboration between IT and business is a myth that needs to be debunked.


The Rise of Citizen Developers

As businesses strive to be more agile and responsive, there has been a shift towards empowering end-users to create their own solutions. This has led to the rise of citizen developers, who use low-code or no-code platforms to build applications that meet their specific needs. These platforms provide a user-friendly interface, allowing users with little or no coding experience to create functional applications. However, the rise of citizen developers does not eliminate the need for IT and business collaboration. Instead, it changes the dynamics of this relationship. IT departments are no longer the sole creators of business applications, but they still play a crucial role in providing the infrastructure and governance needed to support citizen developers.


The Role of IT in Supporting Citizen Developers

While citizen developers can create applications, they often lack the technical expertise to ensure these applications are secure, scalable, and integrated with existing systems. This is where IT comes in. IT departments need to provide the tools and platforms that enable citizen development, while also ensuring these tools meet the organisation’s technical and security standards.


Challenges in IT and Business Collaboration

While the need for IT and business collaboration is clear, achieving this collaboration can be challenging. One common challenge is the lack of a common language between IT and business. IT professionals often use technical jargon that business users may not understand, while business users may use business terminology that IT professionals are not familiar with. This can lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings.

Another challenge is the difference in priorities between IT and business. IT departments are often focused on technical aspects such as security and scalability, while business units are focused on business outcomes such as revenue growth and customer satisfaction. These differing priorities can lead to conflicts and tensions.


Overcoming Challenges in IT and Business Collaboration

Despite these challenges, there are ways to foster effective collaboration between IT and business. One approach is to establish a common language. This can be achieved by providing the right tools and training to both IT and business users, helping them understand each other’s perspectives.

For example, Olympe integrates a Marketplace where professional developers make available technical components ready to use by citizen developers to access data or integrate with other systems. Business users can therefore build tools according to their unique needs without the burden related to conflict of priorities and deadlines.

By working together on the same platform, IT and business can ensure that citizen-developed applications add value to the organisation, rather than creating silos or security risks.



In conclusion, the rise of citizen developers does not eliminate the need for IT and business collaboration. Instead, it underscores the importance of this collaboration. By working together, IT and business can ensure that citizen-developed applications are secure, scalable, and aligned with the organisation’s goals. Furthermore, they can overcome the challenges in collaboration, and create a more agile and responsive organisation.

So, the myth of citizen developers replacing IT and business collaboration is just that – a myth. In reality, IT and business will always need to collaborate, regardless of the rise of citizen developers. Nevertheless, to harness the full potential of their development resources and drive innovation forward, organisations will have to rely on collaborative platforms that match the expectations of both worlds.




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