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Citizen Development Platforms
Quixy Editorial Team
May 31, 2024
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Are you tired of long delays from the IT department and need a way to quickly get a software solution to fulfill your needs? Consider investing in citizen development platforms that empower business users to build custom applications without writing any line of code.

These tools use no code/low code technology that allows anyone to create an application that aligns precisely with their operational needs.

If you are confused about which tool to invest in, then this article will help narrow down your list. We list the top 5 citizen development platforms that can make your application development process much easier. Let us talk about these tools and their functionality below. 

What is Citizen Development Software?

Citizen development software consists of low-code or no-code platforms that enable non-technical users to create custom applications tailored to their business needs. These platforms feature user-friendly interfaces that allow users to drag and drop components, integrate with existing systems, and automate workflows without requiring deep coding expertise.

This type of software democratizes application development, empowering business professionals to rapidly build solutions, streamline processes, and address specific challenges within their domains. By facilitating quicker adaptations and innovations, citizen development software helps organizations stay agile & responsive in a fast-evolving business landscape, all while ensuring compliance with IT and security standards.

Also Read: What is Citizen Development: A Comprehensive Guide

Benefits of Citizen Development Software

The global low-code development industry is expected to generate a revenue of $187 billion by 2030.

The following benefits of citizen development & business led-IT prove this massive growth of the low-code development industry:

1. Cost Reduction

By using citizen development software, you can significantly cut costs in your organization. This approach allows your non-IT staff to build custom applications, reducing the need to hire external developers or overload your IT department with additional tasks. Not only does this save on hiring and outsourcing expenses, but it also speeds up the development process, meaning you can solve business problems more efficiently and cost-effectively. It’s a smart way to make the most of your resources and keep expenses in check.

2. Faster Time to Market

With citizen development software, you can accelerate your time to market. This tool enables your team to quickly build and deploy apps customized to specific business needs without waiting on the IT department. By streamlining the development process, you can respond faster to market demands and opportunities, giving your business a competitive edge. It’s an efficient way to stay agile and adaptive, ensuring you’re always ready to capitalize on new trends and innovations.

3. Risk Mitigation

Using citizen development software, you can enhance risk mitigation in your projects. These platforms come equipped with built-in compliance and governance controls, helping ensure that the applications your team creates adhere to legal and security standards. This setup not only protects your data but also aligns with industry regulations, reducing the risk of violations and breaches. It’s a reliable way to keep your operations safe while still fostering innovation and agility within your team.

4. Increased Agility

With citizen development software, you can boost your organization’s agility. This approach allows your non-technical staff to quickly create and modify applications as business needs evolve. By empowering your team to address changes without waiting for IT, you enhance responsiveness and adaptability. This increased agility helps your business stay ahead in a fast-paced market, enabling you to implement new ideas and solutions promptly. It’s a practical way to maintain flexibility and drive continuous improvement.

Also Read: The Rise of the Citizen Developer and Why Should Every Business Care?

Top 5 Citizen Development Platforms

Citizen Development Platforms

1. Quixy

Quixy is a no code application development platform designed to enable you with no programming skills to build enterprise-grade applications using a visual development environment. The platform helps the creation of applications through drag-and-drop methods and adds application components, allowing you to manage complex workflows and data seamlessly​​.

Quixy provides a range of functionalities including data storage, CRUD operations for database management, extensive integration options through native connectors and third-party services like Zapier, and a built-in simulator for testing applications across various workflows and device types​. It also offers robust security features, ensuring compliance with major standards like ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and SOC 2 Type 2​.

The platform is particularly beneficial for automating business processes, such as leave management, customer onboarding, and supply chain management, providing significant time savings and reducing the risk of manual errors​.

Pricing: Quixy’s pricing plans start at $20 per user, per month which is billed annually.

Mobile app: Quixy offers mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.

Support options: Quixy offers resources such as webinars, infographics, ebooks, and whitepapers. Its support team is reachable via email.

Also Read: Citizen Development Value Tree: A Comprehensive Guide

2. OutSystems

OutSystems is a low code development platform that enables you to swiftly build, deploy, and manage enterprise-grade mobile and web applications. The platform supports omnichannel applications and can operate in cloud, on-premises, or hybrid environments.

OutSystems simplifies the development process by providing tools that allow users with minimal coding expertise to create applications quickly. This includes full-stack app development capabilities, allowing for the creation of mobile apps, web applications, and even chatbots. Additionally, the platform offers a variety of ready-to-use templates and extensive training resources to help users get started and advance their skills.

The platform is designed to handle complex, business-critical applications and streamline manual processes. It also offers capabilities for integrating existing systems and extending legacy systems, making it a versatile tool for organizations looking to modernize their IT landscape​.

Pricing: OutSystem’s pricing plan with features that let you develop apps for employees, customers, and partners is priced at $32,500 per year.

Mobile app: OutSystem does not have any mobile app.

Support options: OutSystems offers resources such as a knowledge base and documentation. You can also refer to its community forum to get support from other users of the tool. Otherwise, the team is reachable via raising a ticket or phone calls.

3. Quickbase

Quickbase is a low-code platform designed to help businesses manage dynamic work and complex projects efficiently. It offers a platform that helps users to build custom applications with minimal coding experience. The platform includes features like drag-and-drop functionality, customizable templates, and pre-built components, which facilitate the quick creation and deployment of applications​​.

Quickbase supports various business functions including project management, resource allocation, workflow orchestration, and compliance management. It’s particularly useful for teams in industries like construction, manufacturing, education, and more, providing solutions that are tailored to meet specific business needs​​.

The platform integrates with external systems, automates workflows, and provides real-time insights, which help businesses increase productivity and operational efficiency. With its mobile capabilities, Quickbase also supports on-the-go access to critical information, enabling cross-functional collaboration and faster decision-making​.

Pricing: Quickbase’s pricing starts at $35 per user per month which is billed annually. It has a limit of a minimum of 20 users in this plan.

Mobile app: Quickbase comes with mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.

Support options: Quickbase offers multiple customer resources such as demo videos, trainings, and customer stories. For technical support, you can reach out to its community or the team via email.

Also Read: 5 Reasons to Encourage Citizen Development at Work

4. Kissflow

Kissflow is a cloud-based workflow management software designed to simplify business process management through automated workflows and process automation. It’s particularly useful for small businesses and team members within larger organizations, helping to streamline complex workflow processes efficiently.

Kissflow offers a user-friendly, low code/no code platform that enables users to create customizable workflows and automate processes without extensive technical knowledge. This platform supports a wide range of business functions, including employee onboarding, approval processes, and project management, making it a versatile tool for enhancing team productivity and operational efficiency​​.

Kissflow integrates easily with a broad array of other tools and platforms, enhancing its utility within diverse IT ecosystems. The platform also provides detailed reporting and analytics features, offering insights into project performance and team productivity​​.

Pricing: Kissflow’s basic pricing plan starts at $1500 per month.

Mobile app: Kissflow offers mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.

Support options: Community support, help docs, and trainings are available to learn about the tool. For technical issues, Kissflow’s support team is reachable by chat.

5. Pega Systems

Pega Systems is known for its low-code platform, which enables workflow automation and AI-powered decisions. This platform helps businesses streamline operations, enhance customer engagement, and improve operational efficiency through advanced automation and real-time analytics.

Pega’s technology is distinguished by its “Center-out” architecture, which starts with the customer outcomes and works outward, supporting both broad and targeted process improvements across various departments and functionalities. This approach facilitates rapid deployment of changes and scales effectively at the enterprise level, making it a robust solution for large-scale operations​

Pricing: Pega’s pricing starts at $35 per user per month. 

Mobile app: Pega does not have any mobile apps available.

Support options: Pega has several resources available, including support documents, a forum, and a knowledge base. Its support team is reachable via phone calls and email.

Also Read: What is Vendor Lock-in? Tips to avoid it

What Factors to Consider When Choosing a Citizen Development Platform?

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Citizen Development Platform

60% of buyers regret purchasing software within 12 to 18 months. The most common reason behind the regret is insufficient research during purchase. To ensure you do not end up regretting the citizen development tool you purchase, here are some factors that you should consider.

1. How easy is the software to use? 

When choosing citizen development software, it’s crucial that it’s easy to use because you want to minimize the learning curve and maximize efficiency. Easy-to-use platforms mean that even team members without technical backgrounds can quickly start building and deploying applications.

For example, if a marketing manager needs to create a customer feedback tool, user-friendly software would allow them to set it up quickly and adapt it based on real-time feedback without waiting for IT support. This flexibility accelerates response times to business needs and enhances productivity across your organization.

2. Is the tool scalable? 

Checking for scalability is crucial because it ensures the platform can grow with your business. For instance, imagine you start using the software to manage customer queries. As your company expands, you might need to handle increased data volume or extend the software’s capabilities to additional departments like sales or inventory management. Scalable software adapts to these increasing demands without requiring a complete overhaul, thus avoiding potential disruptions in your business operations and additional costs. This adaptability is key to maintaining efficiency and continuity as your business needs evolve.

3. What are the security features of the tool? 

When you’re evaluating citizen development software, always check its security features because robust security ensures that your data and applications remain protected. For example, if you use the software to store customer information, weak security could expose sensitive data to unauthorized access, leading to data breaches and loss of customer trust.

Effective security features like encryption, user authentication, and data access controls help safeguard your information, complying with legal standards and protecting your business from potential threats. Ensuring the software you choose meets high-security standards is crucial for maintaining the integrity & confidentiality of your business operations.

Also Explore: Top 10 Statistics: Citizen Development is the Future

4. Can the software be customized? 

Customization capabilities in the citizen development tool allow you to tailor applications specifically to your business needs. For instance, if you’re managing a project, customizable software enables you to modify or add features that track unique project metrics not supported by standard applications.

This customization can streamline workflows, improve efficiency, and better align the software with your specific operational requirements. Being able to customize your tools means your applications can evolve alongside your business, continuously meeting your changing needs.

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5. What are the pricing models of the tool? 

It is essential to understand the tool’s pricing models because this affects your budget and scalability. For instance, some platforms may offer a flat rate, while others could charge based on the number of users or the volume of data processed.

If you start with a small team but plan to expand, a per-user pricing model might initially be cost-effective. However, as your team grows, this option could become expensive. Understanding the pricing structure helps you anticipate costs as your usage scales and ensures the software remains affordable over time, aligning with your financial planning.

Also Read: How to Implement and Govern Citizen Development in your Organization

Conclusion

As you prepare yourself to purchase a citizen development platform for your business, it is important to pause and take a step back to consider your decision carefully. Choosing the right platform is more than just about immediate needs; it’s about future-proofing your investments and ensuring that the software grows with your business.

Each platform offers unique benefits and capabilities, from Quixy’s extensive integrations and security features to OutSystems’ comprehensive app development tools and Quickbase’s powerful project management functionalities. Assess each option based on factors like ease of use, scalability, security, customization potential, and cost.

By making an informed choice, you not only solve current challenges but also carve way for future innovations and efficiency within your organization. Embrace these tools to transform your business processes, enhance productivity, and stay competitive in a fast-evolving business landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Who uses the citizen development platform?

Citizen development platform is used by non-technical business users across various industries who need to build and customize applications to meet specific operational needs quickly. It allows these users to create software solutions without deep programming knowledge, streamlining processes and enhancing productivity within their organizations.

Q. What is the difference between a citizen developer & a developer?

A citizen developer typically uses low-code or no-code platforms to create applications that streamline business processes without formal training in coding. In contrast, a professional developer has technical programming skills and builds complex software systems, often writing extensive code and working within deeper aspects of software architecture.

Q. What are the challenges of citizen development?

Challenges of citizen development include managing data security risks, ensuring compliance with IT governance, the potential for creating inefficient or redundant apps, and scaling issues as business needs grow. Balancing freedom for innovation with control to maintain system integrity can also be complex.

Q. How to measure Citizen Development ROI?

Measuring Citizen Development ROI involves tracking time and cost savings through faster application development by citizen developers. It also considers improvements in productivity, efficiency, and business value, like increased revenue or improved customer experience. Also, reduced error rates in applications and improved data accuracy contribute to a positive ROI. By tracking these metrics and platform adoption, you can showcase the value Citizen Development brings to your organization beyond just cost savings.

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