söndag 13 juni 2021

Technical debt - a luxury you cannot afford for long


Are you caught up in the luxury trap?
Most of you will recognize the television concept of "Lyxfällan", "the luxury trap" or "Luksusfaelden" - a hit tv show where participants get help with getting out of debt, reorganizing their economy and take steps towards better financial habits. It's somewhat educational, but mostly a reality tv style flash impression of other people’s lives, intended to shock and awe for maximum viewership and ad revenue.


 "How can people just ignore invoice reminders and letters from collection agencies?" (you might think, whilst watching the show).

A valid question but in fact most of us are a little blind to different kinds of debt building up over time. For some it's financial, for some it may be lack of sleep or exercise and for many organizations and businesses - it's technical debt.

Technical debt reflects the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer. 

The trap we get caught up in is a classic ”boil the frog” or ”death by a thousand cuts” situation – it’s not any one individual decision or mistake that take us all the way to ruin. It’s the gradual deterioration of interdependent components that in the end cause breakdown or perhaps even worse, misinformation.

Like any building or larger asset, maintenance and recurring investment into the IT infrastructure and applications supporting your information flows is required to keep it working as intended over time. If neglected, technical debt builds up and will eventually cause serious disruption to your business - hopefully not to the degree where collectors come for your assets though. Every business needs to be able to trust their data, able to get reliable answers to reports and queries designed to support the decision-making process. 

You can compare it to being able to start a car and drive off but when you discover that the brakes don’t work – you face a number of ’challenges’. If your reporting doesn’t work at all, you know you have a problem – but a report with healthy figures that misrepresent reality, that could be a real showstopper problem later down the line.

Luckily, there are ways out of the deepest trench and similar to the many reasons you may find yourself there - one is through continuous improvement: 

  • Continuous review from an enterprise architecture perspective helps in identifying potential risks or investment areas in time. 
  • Even mainframe and legacy infrastructure can be modernized through application refactoring, migration or encapsulation using e.g. data virtualization or RPA to make it operationally efficient despite outdated technology.
  • A step-by-step approach can be taken to reinvent and migrate your integration environment from an onsite colossus to a nimble, agile and cloud-based platform which supports and empowers your business & application teams rather than stifles innovation.

Don't get caught in the technological luxury trap - make sure your core information assets are in order!

 Are you looking for ways to leverage technology to benefit your business and outsmart the competition?  Get in touch - every step forward starts with a constructive and thorough discussion!