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Organizations create technical debt when they prioritize a low-cost, faster development approach over the conventional development lifecycle. While it may be rewarding in the short-term, it is certainly not in the best interests of the organization in the long term. Moreover, organizations with accumulated technical debt only consider addressing it periodically and pay little heed unless fixing issues become emergent. While the industry has no agreed-upon metric to grade a system for tech debt, certain reliability and velocity cues start showing up over time, ultimately impacting running costs.
The 'debt' incurred as part of technical debt is often the time tradeoff for doing something right versus the shortest path to Minimum Viable Product (MVP) through the product's lifecycle. Technical debt accumulated over time inflates 'Run and Error' budgets, besides impacting the longevity of platforms that must be recoded to be compatible with newer technologies. Some industry leaders believe that this debt is like a risk, but when this risk materializes, it becomes an impact, so it is essential to address it sooner than later.
Here are the five most common preconceived assumptions about technical debt that limit early action:
In a nutshell, it pays off for organizations to accept that the systems in question might have technical debt and take measures to avoid a potential increase.
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Cisco predicts that by 2019, 90% of mobile data traffic will be driven by cloud applications growing at a CAGR of over 60% in the next five years. Within the same time frame, Gartner predicted spending on enterprise application software will grow to $200B (from $150B in 2015).
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