Citizen development is more than hype. Custom application development is often slow, expensive, and comes with many risks. Even worse, IT teams have huge backlogs that leave them exhausted and overwhelmed. Still, the demand for digital solutions continues to increase.

That means that if a business wants to stay competitive, it needs solutions that scale. And that can feel impossible if your business has limited resources.

Citizen development allows businesses to democratize software development with low-code applications. As a result, businesses can build the digital solutions they need to scale their businesses without burning through resources.

Whether you're on the fence about adopting a citizen development program for your business or looking for deeper insights into the movement, here are over 50 insightful citizen developer statistics to inspire change.

Businesses Need Customized Solutions (IT Struggles to Deliver)

Despite the pressing need for more digital solutions, IT departments are bogged down with endless requests.

  • 76% of customers expect e-commerce services from other businesses they deal with for purchases. - KPMG, 2020
  • Nearly half (48%) of small businesses have a mobile app. This is up from 32% in 2021. And only 13% of small businesses don't plan to release a mobile app. - Top Design Firms
  • Timely delivery of new solutions by IT is crucial. 96% agree that solutions with long timetables negatively impact businesses. - Dimensional Research, 2019
  • 61% of business stakeholders estimated that implementation of their IT ideas occurs half the time. - Dimensional Research, 2019
  • It can take months or years to implement stakeholders' business digital transformation ideas: 2 - 6 months (22%), 6 - 12 months (29%), 12 - 24 months (21%), 2+ years (5%). - Dimensional Research, 2019
  • 58% of business stakeholders agree that users prefer to build applications themselves. - Dimensional Research, 2019
  • 82% of firms emphasize the importance of custom app development outside of IT. - 451 Research and FileMaker, Inc., 2017

Businesses Struggle to Fill IT Positions

Unfortunately, organizations can't simply hire more programmers to create custom applications due to rising costs, talent shortages, and budget limitations.

  • IT leaders (across the globe) face three challenges: accelerating digital transformation, IT and customer privacy, and losing IT talent due to the Great Resignation. - Pulse and Salesforce, 2022
  • IT is the second-largest business area to address potential skill gaps after data analytics. - McKinsey, 2020
  • There is a low percentage of IT workers who express a high intent to stay with their current employers: 29.1% Globally, 19.6% in Asia, 23.6% in Australia and New Zealand, 26.9% in Latin America, 38.8% (4 in 10) in Europe. - Gartner, 2022
  • 76% of IT professionals described the demand for developers as “reach[ing] a fever pitch.” - Mendix, 2021
  • In 2019, there were nearly 1 Million unfilled jobs in IT. - WSJ, 2019
  • The demand for software developers will continue to increase from 2021 to 2031 by 25%. - US Department of Labor and Statistics

IT Departments Are Overwhelmed

IT departments can work with citizen developers to build custom solutions using low-code platforms that meet the growing needs of businesses.

  • The top challenges in IT are customer privacy, speed of digital transformation, and data integration. - Pulse and Salesforce, 2022
  • The top three perceived threats to digital initiatives in 2022: Increased security breaches, existing technical debt, and lack of technology investments. - Pulse and Salesforce, 2022
  • With IT projects growing by an estimated 40% in the last year, 82% of businesses expect their IT teams to deliver connected customer experiences. - MuleSoft, 2022
  • 88% of IT leaders see increased workloads in 2022. Rapid and innovative solutions to new workflows and automations are critical. - Pulse and Salesforce, 2022
  • IT leaders report that individuals deliver two-thirds of major software projects behind schedule. - Mendix, 2021
  • 77% of IT and 71% of businesses agree IT solution requests consistently go unmet. - Mendix, 2019
  • Regardless of the effort, 62% of organizations have growing IT backlogs. - Mendix, 2021
  • 64% of IT professionals said they have a backlog in app development. 19% indicated that the backlog was more than 10 apps. Only 39% stated their app dev backlog improved. 50% said it stayed the same. - Outsystems, 2019

Low-Code Platforms and Citizen Developers Can Reduce IT Backlog

Citizen developers use low-code and no-code apps and tools to create custom business solutions.

  • 63% of businesses plan to invest in AI/Automation solutions for the greatest innovation and productivity. - Pulse and Salesforce, 2022
  • Over 72% of IT leaders listed the top three benefits of using a low-code solution at their organization: Empowering everyone to innovate, accelerating productivity, Increasing time to market. - Pulse and Salesforce, 2022
  • Software developers estimate that half of their everyday development work (51%) can be accomplished on a low-code platform. - Mendix, 2021
  • Low-code application development can be up to 10x faster than traditional application development. - Forester, 2018
  • 12% of low-code users are more likely to note an improvement with app development backlog. - Outsystems, 2019
  • 80% of surveyed developers noted that using low-code can free developers time to work on higher-level projects. - IDG, 2019
  • 2 out of 5 low-code users saw faster development, more collaboration, and lower costs with low-code.
  • Low-code projects reduced costs by 53% and increased processes 56% faster than traditional application development methods. - Mendix Whitepaper, 2021
  • 68% of users create no-code apps for customization advantages. 61% used them for quick changes based on their needs. - Quickbase, 2017
  • 84% of enterprises use low-code for a reduction in IT resources’ burden, increased development timetable, and collaboration with businesses in digital asset development. - Forrester, commissioned by Appian, 2019
  • 35% of IT professionals cited low-code’s potential to resolve organizational pain points like training time (35%) and total development time for software solutions (30%). - Mendix, 2021

Current Citizen Developer Statistics

Citizen developers have become more common in organizations as they can quickly learn the low-code platforms and build the custom solutions organizations need.

  • 21% of project professionals know of citizen development on some level. - Project Management Institute, 2020
  • 60% of all custom apps come from outside the IT department. And 30% of those custom apps were created by employees with minimal technical development skills built. - 451 Research and FileMaker Report, 2017
  • Citizen Developers work with various tools: 64% work with databases, data science, analytics, and AI tools. 59% work with application development tools. 45% work with integration tools, including data integration and API management tools. - Gartner IT Symposium
  • Low-code tools have paved the way for teams outside of IT to become digital creators: 56% of engineering, 54% of business service analytics, 50% of marketing, 47% of product, 44% of operations, and 31% of sales teams now create apps. - Pulse and Salesforce, 2022
  • Low-code can empower diversity, specifically those without a college education (48%), different ages (45%), and different racial backgrounds (46%). - Mendix Whitepaper, 2022

Citizen Developer Salary Statistics

Citizen developers offer a more affordable option than hiring programmers, as they don't need a coding background to build applications effectively.

  • Citizen developer salaries can vary based on their title and job description, as they don’t relate to a specific job title or targeted role. This is not true for professional developers and technological experts. - Gartner
  • The pay range for Software Developers was $84,020 to $140,470 (with a median salary of $110,140). - U.S. News, 2020
  • The pay range for IT Managers was $116,990 to $191,470 (with a median salary of $151,150). - U.S. News, 2020
  • The average salary for a citizen developer is only $101,720. And the pay range is between $75,000 - $125,500 a year. - Zip Recruiter, 2022

Statistics on Citizen Development and Cost Reduction

Businesses looking to reduce costs but still meet customer expectations with automated solutions need to consider working with citizen developers.

  • According to 61% of IT professionals, software development costs are rising. - Mendix, 2021
  • 36% of the IT budget goes to business-led IT practices. - Gartner, 2019
  • Most IT leaders use managed services and outsourcing to close the skill gap and manage the challenges of personnel leaving organizations. - Pulse and Salesforce, 2022
  • The pandemic prompted 64% of organizations to rely on non-technical staff to help offset its effects. Manufacturing (70%) and finance (71%) organizations relied primarily on individuals outside of IT departments. - Mendix Whitepaper, 2021
  • 59% of low-code projects are a collaboration between the IT department and business users. They even incorporate technologies like AI, big data, and IoT (59%). 25% of these organizations that use low-code reported fewer shadow IT projects than before, with an estimated reduction claim of 56%. - Mendix, 2021
  • While 84% of businesses use low-code for application development, 31% of enterprises don’t use it for their highest-value applications. - Forrester + Appian, 2019
  • 70% of new app development in enterprise organizations will use low-code or no-code technologies by 2025. This is higher than the less than 25% in 2020. By 2024, 65% of application development activity will already be low-code application development. - Gartner, 2021

Key Statistics on the Future of Citizen Development

Low-code use and citizen development programs are projected to continue growing in the wake of the pandemic.

  • Citizen developers will build 450 million low-code/no-code applications over the next five years. - Microsoft, 2020
  • 61% of companies either have or planned to have functional citizen development initiatives. - Gartner, 2019
  • 41% of businesses indicated active citizen development initiatives. 20% said they don’t have citizen development initiatives. Those 20% planned to or were evaluating starting one. - Gartner, 2022
  • Active citizen developers will outnumber professional developers by 4 to 1 at large enterprises by 2023. - Gartner, 2021
  • By 2024, 80% of technology products and services will be built by professionals outside of IT. - Gartner, 2021
  • 42% of citizen developers used tools designed for them specifically. - Gartner IT Symposium 2022