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CIO Guidance: Preventing and Remediating Technical Debt

Published: | IDC | 13 Pages | Delivery time: 1-2 business days


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CIO Guidance: Preventing and Remediating Technical Debt
Published: June 24, 2022
Content info: 13 Pages
Delivery time: 1-2 business days
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This IDC Perspective defines technical debt and how it is created; multiple examples of enterprise impact are given, along with steps for building a get-well plan. This document is designed to provide foundation of information with which to educate the entire enterprise. Given the rate of change of innovation and product speed to market, almost every company relies on parts of its enterprise architecture that are greater than a year old. It's a rare and lucky enterprise that is reliant only on technology younger than five years or that is using technology that will be the best in class for the next 20 years. Some CIOs are on top of it - they are watching the situation closely, monitoring for critical replacements, and have agreement and investment from the C-suite for joint remediation projects. In such situations, enterprise culture is supportive, and they have put into place structures to keep additional debt to a minimum. Those CIOs are the minority. Several CIOs still in practice today lived through the greatest example of technical debt known to mankind. Some of us helped create it. Luckily, the year 2000 event was less fatally disruptive than was feared beforehand, but remediation refocused billions of dollars for the fix - spending that could have been avoided if programmers in the 1970s looked beyond a two-digit field for "year." Will we face a similar emergency when three-digit area codes are inadequate for the number of devices within a geography or when mainframes are no longer sold or supported? "Technical debt is unavoidable; while we can't be prescient enough to predict the enormity of some technical changes, CIOs should at least include education and vigilance in their plans to reduce the impact," says Cora Carmody, adjunct research advisor with IDC's IT Executive Programs (IEP).

Product Code: US49234419

Executive Snapshot

Situation Overview

  • What Is Technical Debt?
  • Causes of Technical Debt
  • The Impact of Technical Debt

Advice for the Technology Buyer

  • Summary

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