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Citizen development save IT

Can Citizen Development Save The Enterprise? Yes. Here’s How

Here’s what we mean. IT has a very important job. It needs to enable the business to operate efficiently and creatively across functions and processes. It needs to preserve the integrity (and compliance) of the tech stack and of company data. And it is also tasked with creating new technological and process-oriented solutions to meet agreed upon service level agreements (SLAs). The problem is, IT does not have what they need to do all this: enable the business while simultaneously governing the tech stack and driving innovation in the product. Consider the resources at their disposal to this end of business enablement. When the business needs a solution to a business problem, IT has two options: either 

1) Buy packaged, task-specific apps for the business; or 

2) Develop custom solutions themselves.

Both options are costly, and often inadequate. Custom solutions can take 6–9 months (or more) to build, and require long-term maintenance after deployment — which, all told, is a massive expenditure of IT time and energy. Purchased apps, meanwhile, don’t always solve process challenges or increase efficiency, either, at least not in a manner that doesn’t compromise IT’s governance over the tech stack. They’re too functionally specific. This is why enterprises use so many damn apps today — they need at least one app for every problem. They’re also inaccessible, necessitating users learn how to navigate a new UI to get any value out of them. And they’re incapable of powering processes end-to-end, creating damaging Last Mile Delivery problems that require manual work to fix. In Tonkean’s 2021 State of Operations survey, in which we surveyed 500 enterprise business operations and IT professionals, only 24% of respondents reported that their current tech stack — composed of apps both purchased and custom-built — “satisfies all their operational needs.” 82% of IT respondents believe their organization uses too many apps.

Citizen development won’t save the enterprise on its own.

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