How to accelerate innovation and yet cope with technical debt?

technical debt
technical debt

Beyond any doubt, the pandemic has increased our expectations regarding digital product offerings and services. Banks and insurance companies are not only facing the need for digital acceleration, but as regulated companies they are also facing rising compliance costs This, in combination with a difficult market environmentputs margins under pressure …

October 2020 -When all the mandatory legal and compliance requirements are planned on the IT road map, very little capacity of the IT department is left to initiate new digital transformation projects, like optimising costly operational processes or building new customer facing channels.  

So how can you speed up innovation to win this upcoming digital battle?  

Some will call the suboptimal technical solutions and silo-based core systems ‘technical’ debt that is costly to maintain and slows the need for speed down. The investments and staff that are required to turn the whole organisation to ‘digital first’ seem an impenetrable obstacle.  But there are ways to turn this ‘technical debt’ into ‘technical assets’ and keep pace with digital acceleration. However, there is an important precondition! 

The most important change to make is not to the IT systems themselves, but to the mindsets and culture of the company. This means that all staff needs to be convinced of the need for digital transformation. It starts with an executive committee that understands that digital acceleration is unstoppable and ‘business as usual’ will not come back thanks to the technical possibilities and solutions. There is no time left for experimenting in ‘sandboxes’ and prototyping something ‘nice to have’. These times are over. All staff needs to be convinced that investments in IT equals investments in business, or soon … no business at all.  

When all staff supports this need for transformation, the IT roadmap demands a transparent and uncompromising execution, but it must remain feasible and manageable, with a step-by-step approach. The ‘technical debt’ can’t be ignored and must be incorporated in the IT roadmap. The IT department needs resources and time to tackle this debt. The backlog fixes need to be manageableit’s better to renovate core systems piece by piece than completely rebuild them from scratch. 

But don’t forget to plan the quick wins or low hanging fruit that speeds up your time to market or enhances your operational efficiency. This motivates the whole company to progress further with fast and tangible results. 

No IT capacity left? Look for an experienced technology provider that can partner with your IT department to obtain fast results! Come and talk to us!