Majority of firms now rely on 'citizen' application developers

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More than 80 percent of organizations say citizen developers are becoming increasingly important to their business, according to a new report from 451 Research and software provider FileMaker Inc.

Survey respondents from more than 500 companies in North America reported that not only is custom app strategy propelling business outcomes, but that this activity is better conducted outside of IT, by business departments rather than technical experts.

Organizations are experiencing a shift from centralized development that caters to distributed teams’ needs to a decentralized app creation model, the report said. Nearly 60 percent of all custom apps are being created outside the IT department. Of those, 30 percent are being built by employees with either limited or no technical development skills.

In small companies, 47 percent of business owners are leading app development strategy, the study said, and 82 percent of all businesses report that citizen developers will become more important over the next two years.

“Digitization is prompting organizations across industries to look for new ways to meet challenges and drive business outcomes,” Ann Monroe, vice president, worldwide marketing and customer success at FileMaker Inc., said of the report findings. “With today’s custom app platforms and an increased focus on speed and agility, it’s time to empower those close to the business questions with the tools to create the digital answers.”

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