Over the past 12 months, 86% of organizations have been impacted by technical debt, which caused the greatest fallout on the ability to innovate, meet service-level agreements and avoid downtime.1 Unfortunately, managing tech debt can pose a big challenge, especially to organizations with IT skills and knowledge gaps.

In fact, according to the Insight-commissioned annual Foundry survey, tech debt now ranks as the #3 inhibitor to digital transformation, following skills gaps and budget constraints.2 On the flip side, identifying and managing your tech debt will boost your organization’s efficiency, competitive advantage, and ability to innovate. Here are three steps to get you started.

Step 1. Identify the “where” and the “how.”

Overcoming tech debt starts with pinpointing where your tech debt is coming from and how it is impacting your organization. Understanding the cause(s) and effect(s) of your tech debt positions your organization to be more effective in determining priority items, outlining the path forward, and mobilizing the right resources to carry out the solution.

The "where"

Where does tech debt come from? That depends. There are several common causes of tech debt: rushed decision-making, IT skill and resource gaps, inflexible legacy architecture, failure to implement DevSecOps properly, and necessity. In some cases, tech debt is even accumulated strategically to gain market share. But most often, tech debt is caused by choosing an easy yet limited solution focused only on short-term problems and features, rather than what your IT environment will need in the long term.

The “how”

How does tech debt impact organizations? That also depends. Tech debt can reduce your return on investment for modernization, weaken security, generate excessive costs, and create talent retention challenges — to name just a few of its negative outcomes.

Step 2. Collaborate.

After you’ve achieved an understanding of where your tech debt’s coming from and how it’s impacting your organization, it’s critical to ensure that all stakeholders share this understanding. All stakeholders means not just the technology stakeholders but the business stakeholders, finance stakeholders, and, just as importantly, the end users of the product/service. Once a shared understanding has been established, you can come to a consensus on processes, define a workable plan, and dedicate proper funding and skilled talent to execute that plan.

Step 3. Get support from Insight

No matter where you’re at in your efforts to take control of your tech debt, Insight can help. Our experts can assess your tech debt situation, then create and execute the most effective approach to minimize, manage, and overcome it — with attention to enabling your optimal business outcomes, keeping projects on time, and staying in budget.

For more information about how Insight can help your organization tackle tech debt, you can contact us here.