Often, technical debt is defined as the coding you have to do now because of the shortcuts you took yesterday.

Technical debt can accrue for many reasons. In a recent survey of IT decision-makers from enterprises, commercial companies, and small-to-medium businesses, the majority of the companies identified a few leading causes of technical debt:

  • High number of development languages makes it complicated to maintain and upgrade systems
  • Turnover in development teams leave new hires in charge of platforms they didn’t create and may not fully embrace or understand
  • Accepting known defects in the rush to meet release deadlines
  • Presence of outdated development languages and frameworks

The result is apps that consume resources, time, and energy, and that rob those companies of the ability to compete, innovate, and adapt for the future. But what’s the actual cost of technical debt? Let’s look at some numbers.

Measuring the Cost of Technical Debt

You can’t fix what you can’t measure, and there are several metrics to look at to measure technical debt. Good indicators are the number of resources needed to maintain and fix a bad or broken solution, the time it takes them, and, of course, the monetary cost for your business. Resources and time that could be used to drive innovation and help your company gain competitive advantage.

Despite these risks, many corporate leaders are not fully aware of the contributors to technical debt and its burden on their teams and their business as a whole. To increase understanding of the problem, we surveyed companies on their views of technical debt, its costs and causes. The results are below:

measure tech debt infographic  

Get the Full Report

We hope this infographic helps you understand the real impact of technical debt on your business. To see the full report and gain insight into how you can tackle tech debt in your organization, get your free copy of The Growing Threat of Technical Debt.