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Technical Debt

Addressing the IT cost burdens associated with software code compromises

Technical debt is not a new term, but it’s gaining renewed interest. Technical debt is a way to understand the cost of code quality and the impacts of architectural issues. This is often the result of programmers taking shortcuts or using unsophisticated techniques. Sometimes, technical debt is simply the result of dealing with complex requirements. Regardless, every new project automatically comes with technical debt as a cost of doing business.

Organizations that regularly repay technical debt by consolidating and revising software as their understanding grows will likely be better positioned to support investments in innovation. And like financial debt, organizations that don’t “pay it back” can be left allocating the bulk of their budgets to interest in the form of system maintenance, with little remaining to develop software that can support new opportunities.

For most organizations, technical debt comes with the territory, an unavoidable outcome of decades of technology spend. Understanding, containing, and mitigating technical debt can be a platform — not only for a stronger IT foundation, but for a renewed level of trust and transparency with the business.

Watch video

David Sisk, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, describes what technical debt is, the risks to your organization, and ways to identify whether your systems may be carrying a technical debt burden.

Insights from Deloitte

Read the latest insights on IT Strategy in CIO Journal
Published by The Wall Street Journal, CIO Journal offers a premium news and information service for chief information officers and senior business executives interested in technology.

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Tech Trends 2014: Technical debt reversal
Understanding, containing, and mitigating technical debt can be a platform for a renewed level of trust and transparency with the business.

Reversing your organization’s ‘Technical Debt’
IT organizations that regularly repay technical debt by prioritizing code quality and revising software assets tend to spend less on application maintenance, better positioning them to invest in new business capabilities and innovation.

The CIO’s road map for achieving superior IT design
By methodically approaching design as a business discipline, IT organizations can develop the skills and craft they need to provide the tools and experiences users expect.


How one CIO addresses ‘Technical Debt’
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited Global CIO, Larry Quinlan, explains how splitting the IT budget in two—one budget for core infrastructure and another for business-driven investments—can help secure funding to stay on top of the IT organization’s technical debt.

Our agile disciplines
Read the Deloitte Digital blog post, which describes our core disciplines: the activities we perform continuously, throughout every project, regardless of the specifics of the development process we are following.


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