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Maintaining legacy systems is a major drain on time and resources

communication technology
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/violetkaipa)

IT engineers are spending huge portions of their time addressing technical debt, which prevents them from working on their goals and has a negative impact on morale.

This is according to a new report from software development firm Stepsize, which claims the average engineer spends approximately six hours every week sorting out technical debt - a product of rushed delivery of a project, as the company describes it.

Engineers spend a third of their time maintaining legacy systems, with half of this allocation going towards addressing technical debt. For almost two-thirds (60 percent) of the respondents, technical debt prevents them from innovating, and for half (52 percent), it ruins morale.

Working on technical debt, for the most part, means fixing backend issues - challenges in web server endpoints. Furthermore, there’s plenty of technical debt in websites, infrastructure and company applications.

But it’s not just team members that are affected by technical debt, customers suffer too. With engineers using up most of their time putting out fires, they have very little time left to improve the customer experience, and it shows. Sometimes, new features can’t even be implemented due to roadblocks set up by technical debt.

Stepsize believes that a lot of these issues could be solved by creating management processes. More than half of the engineers do not have such a process, and 66 percent confirmed that it would help speed up the process by up to 100 percent. Some even said they could be 200 percent more productive.