Kintone Releases New Research on the Adoption of Low-Code Application Development Platforms and the Growing Importance of Citizen Developers

“This new research confirms what we’ve heard from our customers: business developers are empowered to create the applications they need to be successful more quickly using low-code platforms,” said Dave Landa, CEO, Kintone.

Kintone, provider of a low-code application development platform and toolkit to quickly connect, organize, manage workflows, and visualize data, today announced the results from a new report on low-code application platforms, “The Rise of the Citizen Developer: 2017 Low-Code Adoption Survey.” Partnering with Unisphere Research, business and IT leaders from organizations of all sizes and across many industries, including the public sector, technology, banking/finance, healthcare, and more, were surveyed on their use of low-code platforms, citizen developers, policies that govern usage and the obstacles to widely deploying the platforms.

The research report, based on 324 qualified responses, provides deep insight into the low-code approach to Agile application development. Some of the most surprising results include:


  • One in five executives said the majority of their applications (more than 50 percent) were developed outside of their IT departments while 76 percent claimed a portion of applications are developed outside of their IT department.
  • Citizen developers get their applications out the door faster than large IT departments, usually in a matter of weeks to a couple of months, according to 34 percent of respondents.
  • At least 32 percent of respondents’ organizations actively encourage non-IT employees to develop programming or app development skills and provide training and tools.
  • At least 84 percent of respondents want to see their organizations do more to encourage and support their citizen developers. A majority, 51 percent, see technology-based solutions as the best route to help ramp up citizen developer capabilities to help in building and deploying applications.
  • Close to half, 46 percent, also want to ramp up training and education provided to employees to increase their programming acumen.

“The results of this new research confirm what we’ve been hearing from our customers,” said Dave Landa, CEO, Kintone. “While working within IT policies and guidelines, business developers are empowered to create the applications they need to be successful more quickly, and beyond that, build workflows to help team members work more efficiently together, no matter where they’re located.”

In fact, according to survey results, the speed of application development is a big factor. Thirty-five percent of executives (outside of IT) are not satisfied with the speed of application delivery from their IT departments, more than double the 16 percent of IT managers that cited this as an issue.

“Our survey results show that business users simply can no longer afford to wait for their IT departments to come through with applications or services they require to make decisions,” said Joe McKendrick, lead analyst, Unisphere Research. “Don’t blame IT — they have their hands full with mandates to pursue digital transformation while at the same time trying to stay on top of security, manage data, and provision for growing workloads. We’re now entering an era in which many users have become both creators and consumers of technology solutions.”

Low-Code Policies and Obstacles to Adoption

The survey also asked respondents about the policies they have in place to manage citizen developers and the low-code development process. More than one in four respondents have no policy of any kind in place, while another 42 percent say non-IT app development is allowed, or in some cases, actively encouraged. Only 16 percent have policies stipulating that non-IT app development is not prohibited.

According to responses on the questions about the obstacles to employing low-code application development, 61 percent of IT professionals cite data security concerns around non-IT development, while only 35 percent of non-IT managers say it is an obstacle. Insufficient governance of applications also stands out in IT managers’ minds, cited as a concern by almost half. Only 25 percent of business-side managers worry about governance.

For a free copy of the report, “The Rise of the Empowered Citizen Developer: 2017 Low-Code Adoption Survey,” please go to: https://resources.kintone.com/citizen-developer-business-application-report-2017

About Kintone Corporation

San Francisco-based Kintone is making teamwork better with its low-code application platform that provides organizations with a customizable workspace that integrates multiple data sources for deeper insight into business processes. Kintone eliminates the cost and maintenance requirements of traditional off-the-shelf applications while dramatically increasing team and workflow efficiency. Custom applications built with Kintone range from CRM, project management, asset management, SCM, and much more. More than 7,500 companies have built, deployed and use approximately 350,000 applications on Kintone. Kintone is provided by Cybozu Inc, a Tokyo-based public company founded in 1997. For more information, please visit https://www.kintone.com/

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