With digital transformation accelerating across all industries, we’re seeing a growing trend among younger generations of employees who are actively seeking out modern tools that enable digital-centric experiences. The desire for today’s workplace to be digitally savvy and interconnected continues to be on the rise. Regardless of whether or not individuals come from a technical background, low-code development platforms are enabling a new wave of citizen developers to build digital workflows that solve key business problems.

Low-code development is a new approach to app creation that empowers developers to create powerful software applications, with a minimum of hand coding. Low-code development platforms instead rely on graphical interfaces and configuration, handling the most time-consuming aspects and empowering developers to create more, more quickly.

By providing employees with access to visual, modular and templated workflows, organizations can look to streamline disconnected systems, and automate mundane processes, unlocking new levels of growth, efficiency and business value.

According to research from KPMG, executives are continuing to accelerate their investment in low-code development and automation at nearly triple the rate from 2020, with no signs of slowing down. As digital experiences become imperative for winning market share and attracting new talent, organizations who can successfully incorporate low-code solutions into their IT strategy will ultimately differentiate themselves, and reach new levels of innovation and growth.

Broadening the benefits of low-code development

With employees on the front line being most familiar with their company’s business goals, they are often better able to understand what is relevant during app development and to ensure the final product will meet business needs. This provides a unique opportunity to spot key areas for growth that would otherwise be missed and build new applications in a matter of days, weeks or sometimes even hours, to quickly capitalize on their benefits.

Previously, organizations struggled to find trained software developers who could meet their evolving business demands. In addition, older ways of working required back and forth communication between IT and business departments. Feedback to incorporate newer iterations of app development often got lost in translation, wasting precious time, and adding to overall project costs. By broadening the pool of talent that can contribute to the development process, IT teams will be able to free up time to focus on other strategic and high-priority efforts. Meanwhile, companies can now invest time, energy, and resources in more complex tasks that may have seemed previously out of reach.

Through automating simple yet time-consuming tasks, and eliminating the need to translate business issues into engineering briefs, companies can look forward to experiencing the benefits of a significant upward shift in innovation and potential output. This approach empowers more employees to work on solving organizational challenges – both big and small.

Supporting the tools to activate citizen developers

For companies looking to maximize the benefits of low code, it is essential to consider how teams can foster a culture for problem-solving beyond the usual software engineers and developers. With simple tools embedded to streamline development processes, employees can focus on addressing business problems, without needing to work through technical challenges.

Businesses can facilitate the ongoing growth and development of citizen developers by seeking out employees with deep business knowledge who are willing to embrace a digital approach to problem solving. Embracing diversity in the range of people recruited can also help to increase the representation of perspectives, as well as improve the impact of implementing low-code platforms.

Once these individuals have been identified, empowering them with the right training and tools becomes essential to driving innovation, while minding the importance of governance standards and frameworks. With new use cases constantly emerging, sustaining a productive, long-term citizen developer program that encourages active engagement and collaboration can help to fuel the future success of an organization and its digital transformation efforts.

Optimizing work experiences to meet changing expectations

As many people reevaluate what they are looking for in the workplace, we’re seeing a stronger desire for flexibility and work-life balance. To attract, motivate, and retain new employees, organizations are noting the value of keeping their teams engaged and mitigating potential burnout. Between quickly automating tasks to meet new styles of working, delivering consistent application experiences, and streamlining workflow processes, the opportunities to offer employees more productive and flexible experiences are endless.

With companies seeking to offer a competitive advantage to future job candidates, creating value and differentiating themselves from other employers will become crucial no matter their industry or field of work. When organizations recognize that there is a better way to meet these demands, that is when they can start to provide consumer-grade user experiences to employees, and enhance the way work gets done.

Regardless of gaps in technical skills, initial barriers to digital transformation efforts, and demanding business needs for efficiency and growth, citizen developers are driving organizations forward – and the best is yet to come.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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Marc LeCuyer
Marc LeCuyer is the Vice President and General Manager at ServiceNow Canada. The company’s cloud based platform and solutions deliver digital workflows that create great experiences and unlock productivity for employees and the enterprise.