Reduce Your Technical Debt

TechnicalDebt_Definition_Technium

There are multiple approaches to technology, business enablement and security. The future functionality of your investments needs to be considered when implementing new systems into your environment. The quick, easy solution to accommodate current wants can cause severe technical debt in the future.

In industries such as biotech, you must get to market fast, but at what cost? When a company constantly puts band-aids on things to accommodate the immediate need, the gaping wound is never fully addressed. The mindset of a quick fix causes future disruptions by having to go back to reassess, recalibrate or rework projects that were already executed.

Technical debt is also often related to unnecessary complexity which causes chaos, inefficiency and ultimately more cost. How many layers of band-aids are there before you get to the root cause and create an elegant, secure and sustainable solution?”

Bryon Beilman, President & CEO, iuvo Technologies
Technium Partner

Common causes of technical debt include:

  • Business Pressure
    Are you more focused on getting to market without taking the time to test systems? Are you forced to roll out a new tool without putting the proper security measures in place? The pressure put on a team to release something without properly assessing and testing it will lead to more work for the team and additional costs to fix the holes in the future.
  • Lack of Collaboration
    A tool or system may work for one department and not for another. By not understanding the cross-functionality of something or its full use, can lead to multiple systems, software or tools being used. Of course, these will all cost money, and when it comes time to reduce the silos, more money will be spent to move data from each one and set up a fully functional tool. Having a full understanding of the current and future needs of each department allows the most beneficial tool to be chosen and implemented.
  • Lack of Documentation
    Do you have every tool and software accounted for in your company? Do you know who uses it and for what? Lack of policies, R&D documentation and contracts can lead to technical debt. A company that can reflect on past references regarding technological decisions has a better chance of reducing technical debt in the future.
  • Insufficient Planning
    Having to continuously go back to fix something uses resources, such as in-house employees or third-party vendors. Not properly planning leads to more revisions, which costs more money. This cause of technical debt is very common when it comes to cloud environments. Many companies utilize the cloud, and either (1) pay for users that do not use it or (2) not properly segment it in order to secure it. The first is an on-going expense, while the second will often result in a costly re-architecture of the cloud environment in the future. You already paid once, and now you must pay again to do it securely and properly.

By recognizing the common causes of technical debt, you can begin to assess what actions your company needs to take in order to reduce it.