What is technical debt?

Technical debt refers to the inefficiencies and waste that arise when IT resources no longer meet an organization’s needs. It can encompass everything from code and applications to physical hardware. Perhaps the IT asset no longer works well, has become inefficient, uses too much energy, is underutilized, doesn’t integrate with your newer IT resources, or is redundant.

Technical debt can have many negative consequences for your business—affecting your costs, operational efficiency, employee morale, and even your environmental impact.

If tech debt is on the rise in your company, you may find your staff spending more time doing maintenance and managing complex integrations instead of focusing on priorities that deliver business value. It’s critical for IT leaders to understand where technical debt comes from, how to reduce it, and, ultimately, how to leverage technology for sustainable growth and innovation.

What causes technical debt?

Technical debt inevitably happens to many organizations. The fast pace of change in IT means that today’s cutting-edge technologies can quickly become obsolete and create a drag on your organization’s resources.

Here are a few common reasons why tech debt piles up:

  • Inadequate planning or design, which can result in suboptimal system architecture
  • Limited resources, including budget constraints, time pressure or lack of skilled personnel that leads to cutting corners
  • Focusing on immediate business goals at the expense of long-term stability and scalability
  • Incomplete or outdated documentation that makes it challenging to understand and maintain a system
  • Insufficient testing, resulting in undiscovered issues that accumulate as technical debt
  • Legacy systems that require more maintenance or are difficult to integrate with newer technology
  • Rapidly changing technology that makes it difficult to keep up with the latest trends and innovations
The consequences of technical debt

As technical debt accumulates, businesses may find themselves caught in a debt spiral. Here are some of the ways tech debt can affect your company:

  • Increased maintenance costs: Resolving technical debt requires time, effort and resources, which can drive up operational costs.
  • Reduced productivity: Technical debt can slow down development processes and make it harder to implement new features or improvements.
  • Lower system reliability and performance: Technical debt can result in more frequent system failures, security vulnerabilities and performance issues, ultimately affecting user experience and customer satisfaction.
  • Hindered innovation: Technical debt can make it difficult for organizations to adopt new technologies or implement innovative solutions, limiting their ability to compete in the market.
  • Increased risk: Unresolved technical debt can expose organizations to higher risks, such as security breaches or compliance violations.
  • Lower employee morale: Dealing with technical debt can be frustrating and demotivating for IT professionals, leading to higher turnover and reduced job satisfaction.
Is your IT portfolio fit for your business?

The most essential question to ask as you evaluate your IT asset portfolio is whether each technology is fit for purpose in your organization today. Undoubtedly, you want to make the most efficient use of your IT resources and reduce the negative consequences of technical debt. Plow Networks can provide you with an assessment of your entire IT infrastructure to determine areas you can ultimately reduce technical debt.

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About Plow Networks

Plow Networks is a leading IT services provider, connecting businesses to technology since 2012. With deep expertise in network, cloud, and end user support services, we partner with clients to leverage technology in ways that simplify operations and fuel growth. Plow Networks is based in Brentwood, Tennessee.


Plow Networks
(615) 224-8735

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