Have an app idea, but don\u2019t know AI from an API? Not to worry. Thanks to advances in low-code tools, anyone with wifi and a big idea can build their own applications.\n\u201cLast year, we saw an explosion of low-code offerings,\u201d says Gregg Aldana, ServiceNow\u2019s senior director of Creator Workflows, a suite of drag-and-drop developer tools that enable non-technical users to build custom workflow apps. In the workplace, these citizen developers help reduce cycle times, increase adoption and drive real cost savings.\nAs the shortage of developers intensifies (job growth for devs is projected to be five times faster than overall job growth through 2029) citizen developers are becoming critical assets, with employees in many different departments and roles creating solutions for the specific business challenges they face. \u201cPutting the power to create in the hands of the person who knows the process just makes sense,\u201d says Josh Kahn, ServiceNow\u2019s senior vice president of Creator Workflow products.\nWhat Do Citizen Developers Solve For? \nWhat\u2019s your least favorite part of your job? Chances are it\u2019s a repetitive, manual task that could be eliminated or streamlined through automation\u2014an ideal opportunity for citizen developers to step in. Consider these low-code workflow apps tailor-made to solve these types of problems:\n1. Distributing Vaccines \nHow Do You Coordinate 14,000 Vaccines?\nAt a university hospital, a small team of citizen developers designed a workflow to vaccinate 14,000 critical healthcare workers. Within three weeks, they launched two apps\u2014one that prioritized employee groups for vaccination and a second that scheduled their appointments.\n2. Saving Jobs \nWhy Furlough Workers When You Can Reassign Them?\nAt one insurance company, 4,500 employees were at risk of being furloughed when parts of its business, like dental claims processing, slowed due to Covid. To save their jobs, a citizen developer created a reassignment portal where employees could list their skills and departments across the company could list new projects they needed help on.\n3. Going Paperless \nCan Complex Contracts Be Executed 100% Digitally?\nWhen its workforce went remote, one business that relied heavily on paper contracts built a low-code application that integrates Docusign into its existing workflow. The app collects e-signatures, tracks progress and automatically routes contracts to the next signee or back to legal.\nWhich Tools Do Citizen Developers Use? \nThere are two components of ServiceNow\u2019s Creator Workflows toolkit for citizen developers.\nIn App Engine, the low-code application platform where citizen developers build their apps, \u201cthey have the option of using a template,\u201d Kahn says.\nCommon tasks like assigning, tracking, submitting a request and creating a task (plus about 40 others) are available as out-of-the-box functionalities you can add instead of or alongside code.\nThen, citizen developers can use ServiceNow\u2019s Integration Hub to add plug-ins for more than 140 third-party platforms and systems. Want your app to connect to your company\u2019s go-to login app or cloud storage provider? Simply drag and drop.\u00a0\nWho Are Your Company\u2019s Next Citizen Developers? \nNot every citizen wants to become a developer. Business leaders must activate the right talent within their organization.\n\u201cIt goes without saying you're looking for the excitement,\u201d says Ayalla Goldschmidt, head of Creator Workflows product marketing at ServiceNow.\nEmployees well-suited to citizen development will also possess three characteristics:\u00a0\nDomain Expertise. No one knows how an app should function better than its target user, so the ideal developer for an onboarding app, for example, may be an HR manager. \u201cCitizen developers know the most about their business,\u201d says Goldschmidt.\nSpreadsheet Familiarity. Your employees may already be creating data models and workflow solutions using simple spreadsheet tools. As citizen developers, they can add layers of automation.\nTech Savviness. Citizen developers don\u2019t need backgrounds in IT. The desire to learn and the aptitude to pick up new tech processes is sufficient, says Goldschmidt.\nHow Can Leaders Begin The Citizen Development Journey? \nFor business leaders who are excited to introduce low-code to their organizations but don\u2019t know where to start, the ServiceNow team offers five actionable insights:\nStart With Training. That could mean a self-guided course to help familiarize citizen developers with low-code tools, often available through your platform provider. \u201cWe help our customers get a head start by putting out content, support and self-help materials that a citizen developer might need,\u201d Goldschmidt says.\nSet Up Guardrails. \u201cWhen you sign up a new citizen developer on our platform, you can identify exactly what data sources and functionalities they can and can\u2019t access,\u201d says Kahn. And as each app is being validated, \u201cwe can publish it into a space where it can\u2019t encroach on other business-critical resources,\u201d so a bug in one newly automated process can\u2019t drag down performance elsewhere.\nProvide Ongoing Support. One hallmark of low-code is its user-friendliness. Still, there is an unavoidable learning curve. \u201cCitizen developers are incredibly powerful, but they will hit walls,\u201d Kahn says, so enlist experienced employees to offer guidance and mentorship.\nStart Small. When it comes to selecting a first low-code project, Aldana advises against boiling the ocean. Rather, he says, \u201ctake a look at the everyday, ordinary things in your enterprise that are a real pain.\u201d\nLow-Code Can Help Pro-Coders, Too. Kahn also stresses that low-code platforms are not, in fact, suited exclusively to non-technical users. \u201cLow-code also enables people who do write code to build apps,\u201d he explains. \u201cThey use the tools to get there faster.\u201d\nLearn more about low code here: https:\/\/www.servicenow.com\/now-platform\/what-is-low-code.html\nExplore the new world of work. Visit servicenow.com.\u00a0\nThis article originally appeared on Forbes BrandVoice.