Gartner Research

Citizen Development: Reinventing the Shadows of IT

Published: 02 February 2012

ID: G00227632

Analyst(s): Mike Rollings


IT consumerization is erasing barriers that used to prohibit technology experimentation and solution creation by businesspeople. As more of these barriers disappear, citizen developers emerge. Citizen developers are end users who create business applications for consumption by others using corporate-IT-sanctioned development and runtime environments. Previously, "shadow IT" was viewed negatively; now it is increasingly associated with how business gets done. As a result, technical professionals must begin seeing citizen developers as partners in solution development, instead of adversaries. This document by Research VP Mike Rollings discusses the implications of citizen developers and how IT must change to actively support them.

Table Of Contents



  • Removing the Citizen Developer From IT's Shadow
    • Cloud Is Casting a Shadow Over IT, Not the Citizen Developer
    • Living in IT's Shadow: Double Meanings and Damaging Perceptions
  • "IT Outsiders" Deserve Full Citizenship in Solution Delivery
    • The Citizen Is Agile; Are You?
    • Operational Technology Staff Have Similarities to Citizen Development
    • An Opportunity for Collaboration Instead of Expanding Control
    • Most Citizen Developers Need Different Tools Than IT Developers
  • Recommendations
    • Embrace the Citizen Developer and Stop Thinking "Shadow IT"
    • Create Infrastructure and Services to Support Safe Citizen Development
    • Become a Contextual Strategist and Cocreate Solutions
    • Adopt Agile Practices and Include Citizen Developers in the Flow


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