Best Practices for Supporting Citizen Developers with CitDev

It's time to start viewing citizen developers as part of the solution

Research Note

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Many CIOs and IT leaders have viewed citizen developers as rogue or shadow IT. In response, they attempt to control or manage them with little success. In this note, we explore the best practices supported by leading organizations to integrate IT developers and citizen developers using CitDev. 


For years, CIOs and IT leaders have struggled to control and manage citizen developers with little success. The challenge is that, as technology has become democratized, many citizen developers have as much if not more knowledge than their IT counterparts about analytic/BI, collaboration and content management, front-end applications, and apps/services. Further, the growth of cloud-based services has made it much easier for business users to adopt and configure solutions without any help from IT assistance. These trends are further exacerbated as many large tech vendors, such as Microsoft and Salesforce, are specifically targeting these developers.

The problem is that many CIOs and IT leaders approach to support for this trend from the wrong direction. Rather than viewing citizen developers as the problem—“rogue IT” or “shadow IT,”  IT leaders must start viewing citizen developers as part of the solution. CIOs and IT leaders must ask, “How can citizen developers take on the increasing business demands for technology-enabled business solutions while also ensuring security, reliability, manageability?”

Research Note Details

Topic: Enterprise and business architecture
Issue: How must organizations support and manage citizen developers?
Research Note Number: 2021-38

Length: 10 pages
File Size:  1 MB
File Type: Portable Document Format (PDF)
Language: English
Publisher: Aragon Research

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Betsy Burton, VP of Research and Aragon Fellow

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