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Majority of businesses face technical debt from the pandemic

two men writing code
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Most organizations took on significant levels of technical debt last year, a new report from Software AG suggests.

Surveying more than 700 IT decision-makers from the US, UK, Germany and France, the company found that 78 percent increased their level of technical debt, which is defined as software development left unfinished when an application goes live.

Almost nine in ten (88 percent) grew more aware of technical debt last year, with an additional 83 percent saying they are more open to accruing it. Doing so can help businesses solve efficiency and operational problems faster, capitalize on emerging opportunities, gain new customers and move into new markets. Consequently, technical debt is a key part of digital transformation strategy for 94 percent. 

However, unless organizations become better at technical debt management, it could weigh their digital transformation process down instead of propelling it forward, the report asserts. Right now, 82 percent say they can assess all or most of their technical debt, but more than half (58 percent) don’t have a formal management strategy. 

To become better at technical debt management, businesses need to stop siloing data and processes. Another serious challenge is the obvious lack of internal alignment.

“The pandemic has dramatically accelerated many things when it comes to technology and transformation. Technical debt is just one of them," said Sanjay Brahmawar, CEO at Software AG.

"Organizations that are resilient, digital and connected are well-positioned to use technical debt positively, to become more agile and responsive to customers, employees and market conditions. Connected infrastructure and digital culture are going to be crucial, which is why becoming a truly connected enterprise has to be a high priority for every organization.”

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.