This post was co-authored by Joe Greiner and Tsvetko Tsvenkov.
In recent years, leaders have noted the growing issue of technical debt (or tech debt) within their organizations.
When legacy applications and systems aren't adequately maintained, tech debt builds. The result: a myriad of issues across systems — lowered employee productivity, soaring costs, security gaps and delayed response to changing laws and regulations. For many, this lack of modernization hinders innovation. Without being able to provide the latest tooling in line with market demand, the organization lags behind competitors. Still, tech experts agree — though it is nearly impossible to eliminate tech debt from an organization, it is possible to manage it. Organizations must have tech debt mitigation processes and strategies in place to address the debt and reduce the likelihood of it accumulating in the future.
How leaders can begin to mitigate tech debt in 2024
Mitigating tech debt successfully is mission-critical to achieving business transformation goals. Leaders should aim to identify where their tech debt lies, prioritize its reduction according to business needs and establish a mitigation strategy to minimize tech debt in the future.
Identifying tech debt
The first step to mitigating tech debt is identifying where your debt is hiding. You can start this process by conducting a high-level audit of current applications and workloads, taking note of what is performing well and what could be performing better. Oftentimes, applications and workloads that are consistently underperforming can be concealing technical debt.
Learn more about where tech debt is hiding in your organization.
Prioritizing tech debt by gauging risk to business outcomes
Once the tech debt has been identified, leaders should prioritize which debt to tackle first. Understanding tech debt’s total impact on the business (across customer experience, productivity, loss of revenue and more) will help pinpoint which area of the business is most affected by the debt and what kind of tech debt has accumulated.
Constructing a tech debt mitigation strategy
After prioritizing what debt area to tackle first, begin crafting a tech debt mitigation strategy unique to your organization.
Though it’s unlikely to rid tech debt from your business forever, having the right processes in place helps minimize its occurrence. Leveraging automation and Agile methodology can help reduce the incidence of technical debt in your business.
Automating processes (across the building, testing, deploying and monitoring phases), modernizing your application environment, and staying current with the latest security and regulatory compliance requirements will lower the likelihood of tech debt accumulation. Leaning on continuous improvement Agile methodology can help reduce time to value for customers and ease the aggregation of debt. Proactively approaching software development and deployment from an Agile standpoint helps to avoid initial tech debt and provides a framework within which to address and break the cycle of tech debt in your business.
Organizations can take steps to manage their tech debt by making it visible, prioritizing it by risk, assessing its business impact and integrating regular remediation methods across the business.
Leveraging AWS cloud for tech debt mitigation
Automation, modernization and Agile practices have a significant impact on reducing the aggregation of tech debt for businesses. This is why many organizations turn to cloud migration to ease their tech debt mitigation journey. To assess if the move is right for you, evaluate if the benefits of cloud align with your desired business outcomes.
Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) like AWS can offer standardized, well-supported services to automate and modernize your business to mitigate tech debt. Moving business operations to the cloud can facilitate security and regulatory compliance in an updated environment, helping organizations avoid tech debt buildup.
- Reduced “undifferentiated heavy lifting” for your team. The less your team has to maintain, the more time there will be to avoid/address technical debt.
- Everything is automated, including backup, DR, updates, testing, security and scale.
- AWS facilitates the automation of deploying and running your code.
- Offers serverless, purpose-built DBs/applications.
- Provides cost-effective, pay-as-you-go software (SaaS).
Insight + AWS for better business
At Insight, we partner with clients to help them tackle their loftiest business challenges. Insight and AWS experts will work with your teams to review application and workload portfolios and assess how your IT stack can best address your business needs.
Get started with Insight and AWS today.