Mitigating Technical Debt: An Imperative For Unleashing Innovation
Sign in

Mitigating Technical Debt: An Imperative for Unleashing Innovation

Technical Writer

2023 continues to be a rough year for the tech industry. With the ongoing macroeconomic conditions continuing to be the pressing point, it is critical that enterprises streamline their operations and become more mindful in their business approach. One such way is to reduce technical debt. Technical debt is referred to as the implied cost incurred when businesses choose a ‘quick fix’ as opposed to a comprehensive long-term solution.

Mitigating Technical Debt-An Imperative for Unleashing Innovation

The consequences of neglecting technical debt include existing issues getting worse over time, development teams becoming less capable of focusing on growth and new features, and instead implementing short-term solutions, leading to worsening of the core problems in the long-run. While technical debt is not inherently good or bad, it can cause serious problems if it is not addressed effectively.

Role of Technical Debt in the Ongoing IT crisis

While the ongoing IT scenario continues to be a pressing issue for enterprises, technical debt should take a top spot in their priority because it is at the forefront of hindering digital transformation and innovation. In fact, as per a 2023 report by Insight, 86 percent of enterprises have been affected by technical debt over the past 12 months, leading to the fallout of innovation, missing SLAs and an increase in downtime. With survival continuing to be an issue for enterprises, it is crucial for them to identify steps to reduce their technical debt. A few steps that will help them to achieve their objectives include:

 Develop a Debt Reduction Plan

 A clear and foolproof debt reduction plan enables developers to build a clear roadmap and ensures that they are progressing towards their goals. When creating the debt reduction plan, enterprises should outline the right steps and strategies for the development team to work on. Some of the key steps include:

 ●  Set Measurable Goals: Establish measurable goals to achieve with a strong debt reduction plan.

 ●  Assign Tasks & Set Timelines: Create specific tasks, assign them to team members and set timelines for every task to ensure progress toward the goal.

 ●  Track Progress: Continuously track progress towards your goal and adjust the plan as per the requirements.

Continue to Pay Down Your Debt

The cost of not paying-up the technical debt in a timely manner hinders the ability of the team to add updates or make the required changes later on. It occurs due to the technical debt solutions becoming overly complex, making it difficult to become agile. This results in technical debt becoming a liability that is harder to pay-off. Hence, before taking on it, the development team should ensure to pay it off after the release of the product. Incorporate it into the timeline and ensure that the project is done when all the technical debt is paid off.

Find Ways to Improve Test & Code Quality

Improving testing and code quality can make a significant impact in reducing technical debt. In fact, as per a report by Capgemini, investing in code quality can result in a 20 percent reduction in maintenance and up to a 50 percent reduction in cost. It also showcases that the software is easily maintainable and will continue to improve in future. As the quality of testing and code continues to improve, development teams are in a much better position to improve the overall quality of the product. This will ultimately result in increased productivity, boost customer satisfaction and improve the overall growth of the enterprise.

Leverage Existing Technologies to Reduce Technical Debt

To reduce technical debt, a team should adopt a new approach toward integration that facilitates long-term thinking. The development team should implement an approach that not only delivers projects on time in the short-term, but also helps to build a long-term vision for future projects. They should identify ways for reusability across the enterprise to address time constraints and move beyond approaches such as the usual point-to-point integration. For instance, IT teams can incorporate API-led connectivity that allows enterprises to drive their vision for reusability. This will reduce technical debt since teams will not seek custom code alternatives.

Reducing Technical Debt in 2023 & Beyond

Today’s competitive marketplace requires enterprises to be constantly on their toes. Having a huge technical advantage in their infrastructure will not only act as a barrier to growth and innovation, but also hurt any chances of survival in the market.

Only enterprises that will address it thoughtfully will be the ones able to harness technology to drive revenue and innovation at scale.