Is the company in technical debt? IT managers are worried.

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IT managers believe that non-technical colleagues do not understand the financial impact technical debt can have on the organization.

Technical debt can limit an organization’s ability to respond quickly to customer demand with new versions of software functionality.

It’s kind of like the software development equivalent of a payday loan. When an organization chooses an easy, less optimal software solution, it incurs what is known as technical debt – its value equals the cost of any additional redesign needed for the software to upgrade it.

Much like monetary debt, technical debt can accumulate something analogous to interest – the cost of overhaul increases, compounding over time, just like compound interest.

It is also an important problem. At least that’s a big problem for 84 percent of organizations, according to a study by technology service provider Claranet.

The survey interviewed 100 IT decision-makers from UK-based companies with more than 1,000 employees.

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Despite wide recognition of the technical challenges of debt, the survey found:

  • more than eight in ten respondents (84) do not have an active reduction program in place
  • and nearly a fifth (19%) want to scale down their legacy technology but don’t have a clear plan of action on how to do so.

You can feel the frustration. 48% said their non-technical colleagues don’t understand the financial impact technical debt can have on the organization, with 45% saying they only have a rudimentary understanding of the concept.

Technical debt can limit an organization’s ability to respond quickly to customer demand with new versions of software functionality.

“Part of the solution to this problem is creating a culture of quality,” said Alex McLoughlin, head of solution design at Claranet. Explaining further, he said: “There is a clear need to raise awareness in this area and also encourage closer collaboration between technical teams working in the areas of development, operations and security, and to expose the business case for non-technical colleagues. “

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He continued, “Limiting technical debt is all about maintaining the quality of your code. Poor quality can lead to systems that are difficult, time consuming and expensive to modify, and potentially less secure. This is not a position no business wants to be in, especially when rapid, iterative improvements are often required to serve customers as effectively as possible.

“With many companies now working on a complex hybrid cloud strategy and starting to benefit from an Infrastructure as Code approach, the issue of technical debt is beyond the development team.

He concluded: “Adopting a philosophy like DevSecOps and adopting an ‘as-code’ approach to security and infrastructure can help unite teams around a common goal: to maintain quality systems. Do it right, and businesses will be in a better position to adapt quickly to market conditions, stay secure, and gain a stronger competitive advantage.

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