Eliminate Technical Debt to Enable a Nimble IT Organization

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Paying Back Technical Debt: Getting Started

To get out from under the technical debt, the first step is to develop a baseline. Metrics should be identified, base-lined, and tracked to measure ongoing impacts.

Be sure to include metrics that have business context as the selected metrics will influence the ongoing efforts. For instance, track the number of days it takes to fix code or measure the percentage of code that meets the organization's compliance standards. Tools exist to help manage code coverage, quality and complexity. Processes, such as application portfolio management, can also be redesigned to facilitate application debt reduction.

In the wake of economic volatility over the past decade, corporations have accumulated technical debt due to cost cutting and underinvestment in technology. In many companies, the result is often a patchwork of software fixes and inefficiencies across applications, architectures, and infrastructure that stifle agility.

Meanwhile, the business expects IT to keep pace with the change that digital disruption requires. In order to do so, CIOs must pay down the accumulated technical debt to regain strategic relevance while playing the role for which IT is best suited: guiding technology decisions to help the organization maximize the value of new technologies.  

In this sldieshow, Mazen Baroudi, Accenture Strategy's North America lead for Technology Strategy, outlines the areas where management needs to look to identify sources of technical debt. Mazen closes with three steps IT organizations should take to pay down their technical debt on their journey to becoming more nimble and responsive to the company's technology needs and ultimately its business.


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