The Shocking Cost of Technical Debt

9 November 2023

Author: Andrew Jones

Would you take out a loan for your business if you didn’t know the interest rate or the terms of the loan? I don’t think so, but in effect that is exactly what many organisations do when they fail to identify the level and impact of Technical Debt within their systems landscape.

Technical Debt is very similar to taking out a bank loan but at rates far in excess of that which would be considered acceptable. Rates of 30, 40 or even as high as 50%!

There are many studies out there by the likes of Gartner and McKinsey that show that many cloud engineers spend almost a third of their time managing technical debt arising from poorly architected cloud infrastructures or still using legacy systems, and software engineers spend anything between 25 and 40% longer on delivering new function and features because they have to resolve issues relating to Technical Debt arising from different platforms, poorly managed code, lack of proper testing, a failure to adopt microservices amongst many other causes.

And can you believe that in many organisations if they adopt a well-thought-out strategy to tackle technical debt, they could reduce their lead times to delivering key function and feature almost 50% quicker?

The longer you delay paying down the Technical Debt, the more interest you accumulate, and the harder it becomes to make changes to your system and develop an agile approach to delivering new functions and features that make you competitive.

It is time for everyone to understand what Technical Debt is and what the impact can be on an organisation.

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