Citizen development is a way for people who don’t necessarily know anything or very little, about programming languages to use a visual integrated development environment (IDE) through which they select different application functions and connect these components together like building with Lego.
They can test, change and retest what they have connected to ensure it’s working before publishing their code.
CD allows people in business to make changes to a business application rather than having to wait for IT departments to make the changes for them, which as all we know can be a long drawn out process and is often very frustrating for the employee on the end of that wait.
Security would still be an issue and although this methodology does reduce security problems by the reduction in third party providers it still must be a consideration if adopting this approach.
A CD approach would more than likely still be managed by a conventional IT department but does allow the employee’s the ability to build an application on top of existing business infrastructure eliminating the wait and frustration. It also allows for enhanced innovation and efficiency within the business.
Forbes released an article regarding the Pros and Cons of Citizen Development which is an interesting review of the approach. It covers the benefits of empowering employees to develop their own systems on an existing infrastructure and the potential pitfalls associated with a Citizen Development approach.
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