Promoting Software Democratization Through Citizen Development

Posted by on June 23, 2016


People all across the globe were able to connect with their dads recently on Father’s Day through a single click of a button. Sons and daughters out pursuing their dreams and careers, often far away from home, could take some time to stop, video chat their dads, and simply express gratitude for the strong and kind men in their lives, the men who taught them to live well.

Technology enables connections such as these and improving that connection comes through the process of democratizing technology.

Democratization of technology refers to the process by which access to technology becomes more accessible to more people. New technologies and improved experiences have empowered those without technical backgrounds. At an increasing scale, consumers have greater access to use and purchase technologically sophisticated products, as well as to participate meaningfully in the development of these products. Industry innovation and user demand have been associated with more affordable, user-friendly products. Naturally, this is an ongoing process, beginning with the development of mass production and now continuing through digitization.

Tweet this: As technology becomes more accessible to those without technical backgrounds, IT should consider a user-friendly development approach 

Cherwell is on the forefront of software democratization through continued efforts to encourage citizen development. Using our award winning mergeable application technology, which enables codeless design, customers can build business solutions and make them available to the Cherwell community at large. In fact, we have a brand new development competition just beginning, called mApp Con 2016 which is geared towards all members of the IT organization, not just technical developers.

Gartner defines a citizen developer as, “a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others, using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT…”

As is becoming more clear, you don’t need a computer science degree to understand business problems, create lists of requirements, and then go and build the solution yourself. We’re not the only software company promoting citizen development. Tools like Microsoft’s PowerApps and Salesforce Components are bringing powerful capabilities within everyone’s grasp.

What are the benefits of citizen development?

  • Empowerment: People who deal with the pain of a problem can now solve it themselves
  • Thriftiness: Solving problems through automation lowers costs
  • Ownership: Software belongs to every individual within the business – however they want to maximize personal efficiency
  • Recruitment: Attracts millennial and digital native employees

What’s most powerful about this growing movement is putting the development power in the hands of those who feel the pain, rather than attempt to communicate the problem to others who then go and try to solve the problem. Ultimately, this empowerment saves organizations large amounts of time. And as the workforce transitions towards digital natives, they’ll become more and more familiar with building applications or business processes without code.

Tweet this: By embracing citizen development, IT organizations can empower users to become more tech-savvy and reduce costs 

Citizen development isn’t a new concept by any means. But technology is coming to a point where individual business users can meaningfully participate in the development of software solutions. We’ve seen many non-technical Cherwell customers produce things like:

  • Facilities Essentials
  • Physical Asset Tracking
  • Employee Off-boarding
  • Clinical Asset Management
  • Employee Onboarding
  • Building Security Management
  • Skills and Training Tracking
  • Software & Hardware Requisitions
  • Purchase Requisitions
  • Equipment Loan Management
  • Candidate Tracking & Recruiting
  • Gym Equipment & Maintenance
  • Survey Management
  • Mass Email Management
  • Media Department Training
  • Medical Document Tracking
  • Security Services Scheduling
  • Event Management
  • Maintenance Management
  • Project Tracking
  • Business Process Visualizer
  • Financial Data Reporting
  • Enterprise Scheduling & Resourcing
  • Employee Time Off Requests
  • Inventory & warehouse management
  • Task Management & Scheduling
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • My Learning Center
  • Enterprise Certification Management
  • Timecards for Employees
  • Employee Self-Service Portal

Citizen development is top of mind at Cherwell Software and we’ll continue to push it forward because we believe in democratizing software. We believe in helping our customers serve theirs. And we believe everyday people can add tremendous amounts of value to every organization if they’re given the tools and freedom to build with codeless, intuitive technology.