Technology Debt: What it Means for Your Organisation
The word ‘debt’ can trigger some unpleasant feelings, especially when it comes to managing your business. However, technology debt is a different animal.
While it comes in many forms, the technology debt we encounter most is the cost to get a business up-to-date with the latest technology in their industry.
Today we’re sharing why investing in technology is not only something you could do, but something you should be doing.
Technology as an Investment
Rather than treating technology as a profit and loss cost expense, businesses should be treating it as an investment and balance sheet item. At the end of the day, investing in technology is a mindset. It’s what sets businesses who are thriving apart from businesses who are coasting on systems that have worked for a while, yet never are re-evaluated. It’s about making investments now that pay off in the years to come.
When things are going well with a business, it can be easy to overlook technology updates and become blissfully unaware that technology is aging and moving on. If you don’t keep up with it, your business will be left behind. When companies don’t invest in an ongoing technology strategy, they can very often come to the end of their current technology’s useful lifespan. Keeping an eye on new happenings in the world of technology is key to keeping your business protected, up to date, and able to efficiently communicate internally and externally.
Are you holding onto a system you should say goodbye to?
Often times, we see companies holding onto what we call an orphan system. The name ‘orphan’ is used because the system is often devoid of any appropriate support or ongoing development. These systems often stand alone, don't integrate well with other systems or run as efficiently as possible, and can actually pose not only a security risk but a risk to the business itself if they suddenly stop working. When systems like these are replaced it is often unplanned, resulting in an un-budgeted fiscal investment that catches the company off guard. Not only is replacing a system a financial disruption for a business but it, more importantly, can significantly disrupt internal culture as employees can be resistant to adopting the changes.
If you’re stuck using aged systems that have persisted or far too long, you’re likely racking up technology debt that could have a significant negative effect on your business. Not only can it lead to less productivity on your team’s part, but can also lessen your appeal in comparison to your competitors. Potential clients who are comparing you to your competitors may view it as a negative if you are seen to be using outdated technology.
It’s important to invest in technology that not only allows your business to work efficiently, but also demonstrates to both your employees and customers that you have a commitment to provide them with the best possible outcomes. If you don’t keep up with technology, someone else will. Don’t let your business fall behind! Your technology investment is a balance sheet item you need, not an expense you dread.