Have you ever heard about citizen automation? If this is the first time you encounter this term, you may think and robots walking down the streets. Still, the truth is that citizen automation is a new term used to indicate something that we all already noticed: the automation and development of digital resources, like software for digital strategies, no longer comes exclusively from teams of expert developers: common citizens, users with no-code background, are developing digital businesses, routines, strategies that are shaping the world as we know it. This phenomenon has taken the name of citizen automation, and we’re going to discuss any detail of it in this article.
What is the Citizen Automation & Development process?
Citizen automation indicates the automation of processes led by citizens. Of course, even expert developers are citizens! But with, with this term, it is underlined the fact that common users with no-code backgrounds can create digital resources and are automatizing many processes of our everyday life with their solutions. Usually, citizen automation starts with the necessity of one person (or single team) trying to improve their routine with a digital strategy or launching a digital business with the resources at their disposal.
As a consequence, many processes and many aspects of human labor are being replaced by artificial intelligence: repetitive tasks are being all performed by software (sending email to newsletters, business bookkeeping, and more…). We can make two reflections on this topic: the first is about the popularity of technology, and the second is about the spread of automation.
No-code or low-code digital solutions
Citizen automation is possible because today, there are a lot of low-code or no-code digital solutions that any user can utilize to realize their software or automate some processes. What are those? No-code or low-code solutions generally use a platform that allows you to create software, create digital tools, to automate processes even if you are not a developer because they don’t require you to write any code. These low-code or no-code platforms can have different levels of complexity: some allow automation to create online blogs or simple websites; some allow you to automate processes within your workflow, and some even allow you to create mobile apps without writing a line of code (AppMaster.io is a famous example).
This is a consequence of technology becoming so popular: not only are we using technology more and more often to perform more and more tasks during the day, but the tools of technology are becoming more and more accessible. A team of developers is no more required to build a mobile app, for example. You could use AppMaster.io and create an app to automate some processes within your workflow even if you have no-code knowledge.
The reality of facts is that a lot of processes that we used to do manually are being replaced by automation. And this isn’t only happening in the work or business environment. If we just think of the apps we have installed on our smartphones, we can see how we are using automation without even noticing: we no longer write down appointments manually on our calendar; we set up periodic purchases on e-commerce so that we don’t have to buy toilet paper every week, we set up a repeated alarm so that we don’t need to point the alarm every night. In the business environment, this is even more evident and important: we are using automation to let machines perform multiple tasks, and sometimes these tasks are even quite complex.
Citizen automation: benefits
Is citizen automation any good? Let’s try to explore the benefits of automators made by common users in our lives.
Automator tools and software not only ease a lot of processes but also reduce the possibility of human errors. This is a benefit that we all enjoy both in the business and everyday-life environments.
Automator digital tools and software can quicken processes within teams. Just like sending the same to tons of email addresses with one click is quicker than doing it manually, automators quicken workflows in every sector.
Automator digital tools and software can improve communication within teams. Tons of automator tools developed through the citizen automation movement - that is, developed by people with no-code backgrounds - are aimed at easing the collaboration within the team. When an entire team can access the same platform to make a simple example, the team can work easier and faster.
Automation is cost-saving. One of the most known benefits of automation is that when tasks are performed by a machine or a software tool, you need fewer people working on the same task; that is, you lower the costs to cover that specific task.
Who are citizen automators?
Can every person be a citizen automator? Potentially, they can. But the truth is that usually, citizen automators share some characteristics. In other words, within a team of coworkers, the ones that hate computers, for example, are less likely to be able to automate processes to quicken the workflow.
So can you sport citizen automators within your team?
Citizen automators are potential developers that could make the best use of no-coding platforms. They usually:
- have a deep understanding of the work progress and how to optimize it;
- have a deep understanding or a true passion for technology and digital resources;
- are curious people who enjoy new challenges;
- have good problem-solving skills;
- think differently: when it comes to solving a problem, there are two categories of people: those who take the known path, and if it doesn’t solve the problem, they feel lost; and those who try different paths and if the good one doesn’t exist, they create it! The second type of people is more likely to be citizen automators.
Citizen automators: the takeaway for entrepreneurs
The movement of citizen automation taught us that new digital solutions and software do not always come from known professional figures, like professional developers. An employee without a tech background could bring important benefits if only is given the right environment and resources to bring new solutions. Entrepreneurs should always pay attention and try to spot citizen automators within their teams because they deserve space and resources to build and grow. It is in the interest of the business and company itself to create an environment that encourages citizen automators to step forward and come up with new solutions.