Home|Nintex Blog|Innovation in 2021 and the rise of citizen developer tools

Innovation in 2021 and the rise of citizen developer tools

In 2020, Nintex was recognized for the fifth year in a row with an Aragon Research Innovator Award, for our “outstanding technology innovation in Workflow and Content Automation”. Innovation has always been a vital part of what we do, and we passionately believe that workflow automation lets employees think bigger and achieve more with the tools they have. We’re dedicated to empowering your line of business, and that’s where citizen developer tools come in.

The citizen developer

The term ‘citizen developer’ has arisen over the last decade, following the rise of cloud computing and the move to a more decentralized approach to business technology. The idea is that creators of cloud solutions are now prioritizing a low or no-code approach, meaning that employees without coding expertise can create their own apps, software, solutions, and workflows, ensuring better ways of getting their work done.

The goal for every organization should be to:

  • Move away from a reliance on developers
  • Empower employees to innovate on their own terms
  • Reduce the burden on their IT teams

The Nintex philosophy

Our workflow automation technology priorities low or no-code solutions, meaning even the most tech-phobic staff members or business leaders can get started planning their own processes and automating workflows. We believe that every employee should have access to great technology. In 2020, this idea has become more pertinent than ever.

The rise of citizen developer tools

Over the last year, the way people work has changed fundamentally. No longer can we rely on a physical location to bring people together and enable collaboration. Business processes that rely on in-person collaboration have had to be changed—fast. It could be something as simple as digitizing your paper-based vacation requests, or more complicated like setting up cloud-based virtual servers. All of it requires fast-paced and dynamic innovation, and the citizen developer has played a central role in this. If employees didn’t have the ability to adapt and flex the technology solutions and tools they used, few companies would have been able to innovate as quickly and effectively as they have done.

Sustainable solutions

Remote working has become the default for many, not simply a hump to overcome. In 2021, the focus will move from simply ‘enabling’ remote work to making it sustainable for the long term. All of this will require ordinary workers and line of business managers to think carefully and innovate with the technology they have. Workflow automation is a crucial part of this trend.

Enabling business resilience with workflow automation

Over the past year, workflow automation technology has been more important than ever, allowing organizations to digitize and automate their common workplace processes. In the physical workplace, many of these processes have previously relied on people walking over to each other’s desks, speaking on the phone, or even verbally each other about ongoing tasks. Workflow automation removes the manual steps from these processes and helps enable a smoother experience in a remote working scenario.

Improving the expenses process

For example, filing expenses often relies on people making their way to the finance or HR team, handing over the receipts, filling out a form (perhaps even a paper one), and leaving it with the team to look over. In a remote working scenario, each stage in this manual process is much more difficult. With workflow automation, the process can be digitized:

  • Receipts are scanned in via users’ smartphones
  • An expense form is automatically generated
  • The form is sent directly to Finance or HR to survey
  • The task is assigned to review, meaning things don’t slip through the cracks
  • Approving the request is as simple as clicking a button

From there, the documentation and decisions are saved automatically in the right place—perfect for record-keeping, auditing, and compliance.

Citizen developer tools take center stage in 2021

This is just one example of an everyday process that workflow automation can help make sustainable in a remote working world. And the key part of it is that with the right technology, employees can digitize and streamline these processes themselves. Our no and low-code solutions and simple drag-and-drop technology was a crucial part in helping businesses get ahead in 2020—and we’re looking forward to helping them innovate and deliver success through 2021.



If you want to find out more about how Nintex can empower your people to innovate, get ahead and deliver more, get in touch with our team or start your free trial today.



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