Businesses need quick solutions, especially on the IT front. When IT teams work under pressure, they often use short-term solutions and quick fixes to deliver results quickly.
Unfortunately, these quick fixes come back to haunt business because they keep springing leaks in the system. The problem is so widespread that there’s a term for it: “Technical Debt.”
This blog looks at how low code helps eliminate technical debt and save real dollars for businesses.
What is Technical Debt?
The simplest way to understand technical debt is with an example.
Suppose an IT team makes a sales order management application. During the development, the team uses a single database to map franchise partners and orders instead of creating one for each.
Over time, as transactional data starts to pile up, it starts affecting the creation of new franchise partners. This is because new partners also have to be created in the same database.
The original design did not separate two logically different activities, just to save some time. A quickly expanding business now gets stuck because it can’t add new partners to the system!
This is an example of how technical debt causes real losses. A small stop-gap arrangement to save time resulted in a big problem later on.
How Do IT Teams End Up With Technical Debt?
The above is just one example of how teams end up creating technical debt. Here are some other common ways.
Businesses want quick solutions, and often the pressure to go to market leads to cutting corners and doing things that aren’t perfect. Those urgent requests and overnight patches extract a cost that comes later and may not even be visible for a long time.
Changes in Technology
Back in the ’60s, Gordon Moore predicted that technology would become twice as fast every two years. That statement has stood the test of time.
The simple fact is that even today, what is cutting edge now becomes obsolete in just five years. Businesses sometimes prefer to work with slightly older technology that costs less, but in a couple of years, it becomes obsolete.
This leaves IT teams with several harsh decisions to make and a mounting burden of technical debt.
Getting the Requirements Wrong
Collecting and understanding business requirements is an art that business analysts have tried to perfect. Unfortunately, the many layers of requirement interpretation often become a game of Chinese whispers, with the end product resembling nothing like what the business wanted.
When requirement capture is faulty, entire applications get scrapped. Moreover, sometimes business users are confused about what they need. Technical debt accumulates quickly in such cases.
What is The Impact of Technical Debt
In a 2020 study, Mckinsey’s research talked to CIOs of 50 top financial services and tech companies with revenues of over $1bn.
Their view was that technical debt is about 20 to 40% of how much their entire technology estate is worth, excluding depreciation. Moreover, tech debt eats up 10-20% of the entire resources allocated for new products in a year.
As per estimates from Allied market research, Acumen Research & Consulting, and Statista, the application development software market is somewhere between $140 – $190 bn worldwide. That means technical debt accounts for a whopping $14bn to $38bn!
Unfortunately, despite the huge numbers, current technical debt management techniques are failing for almost 60% of these CIOs. So, how does low code help? In the next section, we explore this.
How Does Low Code Help Eliminate Technical Debt?
Low Code makes coding quicker – without compromising on quality. Here’s what it does:
It Brings Business and IT closer
Business teams know their requirements the best. With easy drag-and-drop interfaces in low code platforms, they can build dummy applications to explain what they want. This helps IT teams tailor products to their needs, thus managing technical debt better.
Coders might make careless mistakes under pressure. But low code provides prebuilt modules that are extensively tested in live scenarios, making them foolproof. Using these modules eliminates the possibility of human error, thus reducing technical debt.
Integrating Legacy Systems
Why reinvent the wheel when something is working well? Any new coding will always add to tech debt. With low code, you can quickly integrate legacy applications using APIs, put layers of security and seamless customer interfaces on top, and build a brand-new application with zero coding and no additional tech debt!
Since low code technology automatically includes the latest security standards and is built using the best available platforms, there is a lower chance of tech debt accumulating in at least the first few years.
This also helps IT teams clear the backlog on earlier tech debt. Low-code applications also offer better regulatory checks, are easier to upgrade, and provide the most updated security certifications.
The impact of reducing tech debt for a company with a $100mn IT budget could be upwards of $10 – $20 mn annually!
Technical debt is not a small IT problem; it has a real impact on business. By reducing tech debt, low code helps businesses remain future-ready and significantly reduces costs.