What is Technical Debt?

Technical Debt is a concept that we've heard a lot about. It conceptualizes the trade-off between the short-term benefit of rapid delivery versus long-term value. Once a company makes the trade-off for rapid delivery without fully weighing the longer-term implications, they create a level of technical debt that will need to be serviced. Much like financial debt is serviced through interest payments, technical debt is serviced through (1) additional resources required to operate and/or (2) constraints for future scalability or agility.

Technical debt can be created either through coding decisions/approaches or through architectural choices. Regardless of the type of creation, the service payments on the technical debt are felt most strongly in the IT Operations and Infrastructure organization. Nearly all of our clients are dealing with some level of technical debt that they are servicing.

Solutions II is here to help retire technical debt so that they have agile and scalable Enterprise Architecture, Information Systems, and Data Capabilities. Meeting new capacity demands with flexible architectural foundations and taking full advantage of Cloud and other new technologies that deliver necessary business outcomes is the best approach.  Simplifying and Optimizing past and future technology investments retires technical debt. In order to succeed in digital transformation, indeed simply to improve efficiency with current IT platforms, it is essential for organizations to pay down their technical debt.

Take a look at this chart from a study by Carnegie Mellon on causes of technical debt. Is technical debt weighing your organization down?

"A Field Study of Technical Debt" by Neil Ernst, Carnegie Mellon University

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