Discover the Actual Causes of Technical Debt & Learn Ways to Reduce It



In this dynamic digital era, the financial services sector is evolving rapidly. Demanding and stringent regulatory requirements, forever-shifting customer expectations, and disruptive technology are some of the main factors that are constantly reshaping the industry. Several organizations are realizing that their existing platforms and infrastructure are completely incapable of facilitating the proliferation of Omni-channel and user-centric capabilities that clients automatically expect after using consumer-friendly software and intuitive apps developed by internet giants such as Google and Apple.

We know that technical debt is initiated with noble intentions but it culminates more often than not in disappointing system failures. The technical debt would be hampering your organization’s efficacy and productivity over time. It would be thwarting streamlined mobility forward thus, making startups to get stuck and lose it completely.

Further, provides a good example of technical debt. Twitter had initially used Ruby on Rails to establish the front end for its platform. This super-quick solution obviously came at an exorbitant price making it really tough for Twitter to incorporate new features or even enhance search performance. The company, however, effectively paid down all its technical debt simply by switching over to an effective Java Server that resulted in a three-fold reduction in search latency.

We know that technical debt actually drives developers completely crazy. It makes their work increasingly tougher, more time-consuming, and definitely, less rewarding. If you take into account that it actually costs as much as $67,500 for recruiting and training a new developer, we find that the costs associated with technical debt would be quickly adding up if it compels developers to quit their jobs. As banks and other financial institutions and firms carry on modernizing their IT systems such as implementing cloud computing, addressing platform and infrastructure depreciation, and virtualizing data centers, it is often unnoticed and contributes to design debt or technical debt or code debt. You must browse through a simple reviews from customers while choosing the right technical debt management providers.

Often financial firms allow technical debt to get accumulated as they are hesitant about upgrading legacy systems and risking the introduction of defects. They are happy to let things function as usual. However, last year end, we had discovered that many big banks had experienced losses amounting to billions of dollars since they had reached a stage where they had to opt for technology overhaul and could no longer afford to delay it. Technical debt could be found in three stages.

First Stage: Brand New Software Development

Often brand new software development actually happens in a truly commercially-demanding atmosphere, where cost and time are followed by quality. The software is frequently developed as MVP or Minimum Viable Product for serving as a pilot system for delivering baseline capabilities. Numerous options are generally explored during the development process and maybe the code has been written in a hurry. At this stage, we know that the technical debt is supposed to be the real difference between the expenses incurred toward project delivery in such a way that functionality really works, and the extra cost needed for completing the project in order to make subsequent improvements easily at some later date.

Second Stage: Ongoing Maintenance of Software

You must maintain software for keeping track of ever-evolving third-party protocols, standards, interfaces, and other dependencies. Remember some updates are compulsory like changes as a result of regulatory compliance. This may necessitate portions of the software to be extended, enhanced, or rewritten, or even re-factored. Often the original code would be having a functionality which has been replicated instead of being adjusted or reused based on the existing context.

The Third Stage: Software Maintenance

Currently, the majority of the enterprise software would be created by exceptionally big teams transfer with knowledge acquisition. Several years back, older systems were being generated and are currently in use today particularly, in a large organization like banks.

These individuals played a pivotal role in designing, developing, releasing, and testing their code and were conversant with all aspects associated with the development lifecycle. Several original team members must have left a firm, taking along with them precisely their knowledge.

Another greatest challenge is that while tools and processes are generated for accessing more advanced software languages for analyzing bad practice or non-compliance at specifically, the actual source code level. You must realize that the tools do not exist simply for several legacy programming languages.

Causes of Technical Debt

Technical debt could be having just one or even more causes like:

  • Overly complicated technical design

  • Time pressures

  • Poor alignment to the existing standards

  • Suboptimal code

  • Lack of skill

  • Insufficient testing

  • Delayed refactoring

Over a period of time, all these factors could contribute to the assimilation of technical inefficiencies which require servicing in the future. Uncontrolled technical debt could compel the software to be more costly to change instead of to re-implement.

How to Approach Technical Debt

Technical debt is not new to the software development industry, which is why there are metrics in place to analyze it. Cyclomatic complexity is used to count the number of linearly independent choices or paths from beginning to end in the source, Maintainability Indices come from measures in terms of lines of code, and there are plenty of other statistical measures. Smart in-house dev teams can also seek out professional partners who will audit this end of things while the teams can focus on creating new features or products. Technical debt may not seem like a very big issue now, but it has a way of snowballing and gradually making your code base more and more complicated to maintain. The final stage is when the entire product is discarded as legacy software simply because it needs too much time and effort to bring it back to modern standards.


Top-consultancy firms can become debt reduction partners and use their experience dealing with high profile clients in a variety of scenarios to approach a problem with the measures, tools, methodologies, and talent that it demands. In the long run, this is what dissolves or mitigates technical debt.