Web and mobile app development are the domain of the IT department, right? Well, according to Gartner, by 2022, citizen developers will be building more than one-third of mobile and web apps.

Citizen what? Citizen developers. A citizen developer is a non-professional developer who builds applications for use by other people. Although they do not report directly to IT, they use tools such as low-code platforms that are sanctioned by IT.

In fact, research carried out by OutSystems reported 44% of Low Code users are citizen developers, who are working in collaboration with IT departments. This shows no sign of abating.

So, what are we talking about when we say app development? In reality, they are developed to help solve real business problems, which in itself is great. But they have a tendency to spread quickly and therein lies the problem.

If left unchecked by a central resource (IT department), a company’s most vital processes and data can be spread between a number of different apps and systems. This can render a business inefficient. What was designed to solve a small problem and never meant to be mission critical has now ended up in a chaotic approach.

Enter OutSystems, who have developed a much-needed solution to help solve this problem. It gives citizen developers the flexibility to come up with their own solutions, whilst firmly giving IT the control and governance over app development.

So, what are these features? We’re glad you asked!

Experience Builder

Often, speed is of the essence when business solutions are needed. The Experience Builder allows rapid create of new mobile and web experiences. It does this by removing the need to assemble multiple piece of the interfaces. Essentially, it strips out the complexity of building apps.

Workflow Builder

Given that citizen developers are not going away, they need functionality that isn’t too technical. That’s where the Workflow Builder steps in. Incorporating and easy-to-use wizard, it removes complex development processes and makes building digital solutions accessible to everyone.

Automated Architecture

Reworking code at a later stage is inefficient. The automatic architecture governance and refactoring feature means this will never be a problem. It provides architectural recommendations for apps, visibility into technical debt across a portfolio of apps and AI-driven architecture refactoring to tackle problems early on.

In summary, citizen development is a trend that’s here to stay. It does need management by IT so that mobile and web apps can be delivered faster and more intelligently into organisations. The features baked into OutSystems solutions help harness this very-much needed resource, whilst ensuring that IT has overall control.

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