BYOA and productivity: is 'build your own app' now a reality?

BYOA and productivity: is 'build your own app' now a reality?

Summary: 'Creating apps - something that is done only by those initiated into the secret languages of computer software, the developers. Or is it?'

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TOPICS: CXO
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IT vendors and pundits alike (including yours truly) have been talking about the possibility for years now: that non-techie end-users would be able to assemble their own applications, on the fly, for whatever need they may have. Mashups and enterprise mashups come tantalizingly close to this reality. IT managers can do what they do best -- worry about scalability, uptime, security and standards compliance on the back end or in the backbone -- and leave many of the use cases for users themselves to sort out.

Easy as 1-2-3? Can citizen developers do what it takes?

Easy as 1-2-3? Can 'citizen developers' do what it takes?

Ann All coined the term BYOA, or "build your own app," to describe the phenomenon.

This kind of thinking is leaching into the mainstream, as evidenced by a new BBC report by Fiona Graham which speculates that we are entering the era of BYOA:

"Creating apps - something that is done only by those initiated into the secret languages of computer software, the developers. Or is it?  If you're putting together something on the scale of Adobe Photoshop from the bottom up, well, yes.  But for the slightly less ambitious, there's a growing number of platforms that allow 'citizen developers' to put together business process applications tailored to their own way of working. And you don't need a line of code to do it."

This is a question we need to put to members of the enterprise IT community: Is BBC's Graham on to something, or is this mainstream media pipe dreaming?

She cites the cloud-based offering of Podio, which is essentially an online work platform that lets end-users build their own apps from an online app store and manage various business process and manage projects centrally, with a built in social layer.

Salesforce's Tim Barker says we're seeing more what he calls "citizen developers." But citizen developers have been around since PCs first became popular, he adds -- users have building building their own front-end apps for some time through the likes of Excel or Access. The difference now is mobile technologies and social media are putting new, easy-to-use tools into the hands of all end-users.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topic: CXO

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  • RE: BYOA and productivity: is 'build your own app' now a reality?

    It's definitely moving that way, using force.com or SharePoint you can make some pretty good apps without having to write any code. I wouldn't go so far to say as it's fully in the hands of the average information worked yet, but as a Business Analyst the fact that I can now often create or edit the solution without having to hand off to developers is great.<br><br>I'm hoping it can move a bit further in this direction to make my job even easier, but not so far that I won't be required at all :-P
    OffsideInVancouver
  • Automation creates Less Than Ideal Solutions

    Automated and Do It Yourself tools build less than ideal solutions and you will run into their limitations quickly. The very best way to build a professional looking mobile app is to hire a well qualified developer. Do you really have the time to research and troubleshoot different tools?<br><br>I actually know many talented (and affordable) mobile developers (freelancers and agencies). I'd be happy to provide an introduction if you need one.<br><br>Brett Miller<br>http://www.customsoftwarebypreston.com
    cspreston