Embrace CitDev to Increase Security, Innovation, and Peace
by Betsy Burton
I recently spoke with an IT leader about the use of SaaS and cloud-based applications. During the conversation, he spoke about having to deal with “shadow IT,” also sometimes referred to as “rogue IT.” In my view, the use of either of these terms to refer to business leaders/citizen developers using, customizing, and developing enterprise applications is a terrible mistake.
Both of these terms fail to recognize, or even more importantly, embrace the potential business value and impact of work that business leaders and citizen developers are often creating using cloud-based solutions. As a result, negative tension builds up between business leaders and IT leaders, resulting in potentially disconnected, unsecure, and unmanaged solutions becoming enterprise applications.
The solution is not to try to shut down business/citizen development; business use of cloud-based solutions will happen with or without the support and blessing of IT. The right approach is to embrace these solutions from the beginning in a very positive way, so IT and business are collaborating together on a solution that solves the business need and supports the need for security, reliability, manageability, etc.
DevOps—Integrating Development and Operations
For the past several years, many organizations have become focused on DevOps. DevOps refers to the integration and collaboration of software development and operations in the development, deployment, and management of solutions. The goal of DevOps is to increase the value and impact of development and decrease the development cycles by integrating teams in development with teams deploying and managing solutions.
Sometimes development and operations are both in IT. However, many times development and operations are in different departments. For example, utilities, healthcare, manufacturing, and aerospace operations are managed within specific business areas.
Given this integration of diverse teams, DevOps requires critical cultural, governance, and workflow changes.
Embrace CitDev—Integrating Development and Citizen Developers
The reality is, business leaders and citizen developers will be leveraging cloud-based services (including RPA), applications, IoT devices, platforms, and development tools. This is particularly salient since Microsoft and Salesforce, as well as other vendors, are specifically targeting these developers as a channel to bring their products into organizations. In addition, in some cases, these business and citizen developers understand their needs, processes, and solutions better than IT.
IT leaders are not going to stop this proliferation of services, solutions, and technologies. The choice is to:
1. Try to shut them down, which will not work.
2. Try to limit or control them by putting up a roadblock, which will largely be circumvented.
3. To work with business and citizen developers from the start to enable them to develop the solutions, applications, and technologies they need with some positively executed guardrails and guideposts.
How do organizations approach this issue? Aragon Research is introducing a new term CitDev.
CitDev refers to the people, organizational, cultural, business and technology changes that must take place for organizations to fully embrace and integrate citizen/business developers as equal peers with IT in the development and management of business and enterprise solutions/applications.
Like DevOps, CitDev requires significant cultural, governance, and training investments both within business and IT.
Citizen/business developers: The reality is that most citizen/business development is cloud-based and consists largely of customizing and extending existing services and applications within defined frameworks (hence low-code/no-code). However, to embrace CitDev, organizations must train and work with citizen developers to ensure that their applications are supporting required security, that they are planning and designing for scalability and maintainability, that they are focused on data governance and integrity, and that they are budgeting and scheduling for lifecycle fixes and enhancements.
IT leaders and developers: IT leaders and developers must also receive training and cultural change management on how to collaborate with citizen/business developers. They may also require incentives since this requires a mindset and cultural change. IT developers may also need to learn more about the business and its needs and learn about the business processes and applications that are critical to the business. There also may be some technologies such as IoT, AI, business analytics, and mobility that may be newer to them.
Pandora’s box is already wide open within most organizations, and trying to close it or control it after business has already started using solutions is a waste of time, and potentially damaging to the business and the culture. Defining positive guidelines and guardrails upfront that empower citizen/business developers to use the solutions, technologies, and services in partnership with IT developers, leaders, and operations is the best approach.
CitDev can provide a positive and productive channel for IT to ensure security, reliability, integrity, scalability, and maintainability upfront. And can empower citizen/business developers to support the solutions and technologies they need with the encouragement, guidance, and support of IT. CitDev can increase the security and innovation of these solutions and dramatically increase the peace and collaboration across the organization.
To learn more register for the upcoming webinar on July 28th: Improve Security, Innovation, and Peace