Globally, the number of people who know how to code and how to write software is about 0.5% of the workforce. When you think about it, if that 0.5% of people need to develop digital solutions for the rest of the world’s workforce, it’s a hugely lopsided equation. In recent years, the use of digital solutions has steadily increased, with companies seeing a growing demand to digitize their functions.
Against such a background of demand, the novel concept of citizen development arises. Mr. Gautam Nimmagadda, Founder and CEO, Quixy explains the phenomenon and its scope. Quixy is a new-age technology company that enables non-technical business users to automate workflows and processes and create enterprise applications with simple drag-and-drop design. The idea of codeless digitization/automation accelerated during the pandemic, which proved to be a difficult time for businesses and governments to adapt to digitization cost-effectively.
Briefly explain the concepts of citizen development and citizen developer in the context of no-code technology.
The idea behind Citizen Development is to ensure an accountable and transparent relationship between business users (Citizen Developers) and IT staff. It allows non-technical people to collaborate with programmers and contribute equally to innovation. Citizen development is not in competition with the IT teams, but complemented by participation in the solution development process and thus reduces the workload and produces innovation and high quality.
The democratization of software development is key to the current challenges of business innovation. Users become citizen developers and create customized applications using no-code platforms to realize such democratization of software development.
What is the scope and scalability of no-code technology in the context of enterprise application development?
According to Gartner, the market for no-code application platforms will grow by more than 30% by 2022. The growing presence of a distributed, remote workforce and the need for deeper and broader digitalization to ensure greater resilience and efficiency have forced organizations to adopt agile frameworks that focus on quick fixes and shorter development cycles.
No-code has evolved from being able to create simple forms to enterprise-grade solutions – from both ancillary and core systems. There are several cases where core ERP functions have been built on no-code platforms – giving the right combination of agility with process and data-driven systems. In order to successfully implement and scale no-code and citizen development, it is crucial to establish a model for collaboration between IT and business users. Other important steps include creating a framework for governance and reskilling and upskilling your staff with future-ready skills like digital literacy and citizenship development.
Their vision is to create 1 million citizen developers. How close are you to the vision, or what is the current pace for the surge in citizen developers?
I think we’ve made significant progress. Through our innovative marketing, we have made no-code a topic of discussion on many forums around the world. Having been totally unaware of No-Code 3 years ago, today we often encounter an audience trying to evaluate the right platform for their needs.
We have more than many thousands of users on our platform and through them we continually make further strides in spreading knowledge and encouraging more citizens to become citizen developers. In the three years since we were founded, we have successfully made a name for ourselves. We have been recognized by G2 for 2022 among the top 100 fastest growing products worldwide. We currently serve more than 75 customers from more than 15 industries around the world. The number has steadily increased and
How does your company support the creation of Citizen Developers? Are you on a positive spectrum towards this goal?
Our journey of creating citizen developers can be described on two fronts. For one, we educate users about no-code, citizen development, and the immense opportunities and benefits it brings. Second, we think it’s very important that people find us approachable. No-code will continue to be unattainable, or something only big players can use, until users believe that technology like this exists and can be easily customized. We have actively participated in conversations about no-code, whether online or offline, to make this possible. Given the promise no-code offers to businesses, there is no doubt that we are moving in the right direction to achieve this goal.
The demand for software developers is at an all-time high. How can no-code help to solve bottlenecks in the availability of IT experts?
There are two major challenges companies face today; First, it takes time for an amateur programmer to transform into an experienced and knowledgeable developer. And second, they struggle to find the right technical expertise for the right role, helplessly managing a growing IT backlog with a small pool of experienced engineers. Organizations need to build complex applications quickly and with fewer engineers to mitigate the impact.
With the advent of no-code, business users are able to develop solutions themselves. This gives more experienced programmers the ability to work on projects with these requirements
Can no-code help accelerate organizations’ business development cycles? Better than their coding counterparts?
Absolutely. The essence of citizen development is putting the power of IT in the hands of business users or non-IT professionals. Imagine building priority-specific apps with just a few weeks of no-code training.
Today, no-code acts as a savior when there is a large unmet need for a solution that centralized IT teams cannot meet. The DIY developer, also known as a citizen developer, solves problems so quickly that they are unlikely to ever be dealt with by software developers. As I mentioned earlier, developers and architects can focus on the problems that require technical skills instead of domain knowledge. This leads to better business outcomes and increases overall productivity.
How does the cost of no-code application and software development compare to traditional coding?
Developing no-code solutions can reduce costs by 50% to 90% compared to traditional software development. And that’s just one aspect. In terms of resources like time, no-code eliminates the longer Development cycles and can help you build a solution 10 to 20 times faster.
What else can no-code technology offer besides monetary benefits?
There’s a whole list of benefits companies can realize with no-code. It brings quality, innovation and agility to a company’s digital solutions, thereby accelerating an organization’s digital roadmaps, making them resilient, efficient and future-proof. Enterprises can achieve the goal of greater inclusivity by actively involving users in the creation of applications. And as users create solutions, managers can prepare a training path for non-coders to help them understand the scope and essence of citizen development. In this way, each individual can feel equally empowered and contribute to rapid innovation.