Citizen developers to build 25pc of business apps by 2014

14 Jul 2011

Citizen developers will be building at least a quarter of new business applications by 2014, according to Gartner. Instead of fighting the trend, IT organisations need to welcome end user application development, it urges.

Casting a new dimension on the consumerisation of IT trend, Gartner points out that 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.”

End-user application development trend

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

“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,” said Eric Knipp, research director at Gartner.

“Fighting these forces is a losing battle, but a citizen developer program can reduce the risks and unlock potential in EUAD.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years