By Vanshika Sharma
Over the last few decades, technical debts for multiple organizations are witnessing growth due to failed and non-planned tech projects architecture. According to OutSystem‘s latest research, technical debt is estimated to cost businesses $5 trillion in the next ten years. Thus, the IT debts have become the central focus, along with re-directing the analysis criteria of every project.
As the organizations rushed to the digital transformation, technical debts became a concern across the globe. Karan Karandeep Singh, SVP IT, PepsiCo, feels that the race of the speed and competitive pace made the companies lose focus to program the projects right from the first round.
Byju Joseph, CTO, Future Generali India Insurance, adds and says that the non-managed projects, documentation, and lack of automated testing are the pivotal factors for technical debts.
He says, “As the teams and organizations aim to run faster, the documentation work is not followed by now, which is very important because of sustainability. We can’t compromise funding automated testing because any compromise done on automated testing will add to the test. After all, developers keep on hydrating on that build again and again. Like the applications, keeps on getting fixes which also leads to customer debts as the unavailability of tools is the debt in their minds”.
Thus, the code reviews and agile architecture add as the factors for saving the technical debts to expand further. It is vital to refactor the code regardless of its quality to reduce the tech debts and leverage the technology, believes Bhargavi Sunkara, Head of Corporate Technology, Bank of New York Mellon.
She says, “Refactoring code has to be a norm. Every spring I have certain cycles that I reserve for refactoring. The second thing required is fearless developers who can fix the bugs when necessary. Also, retiring legacy systems needs to be addressed as they can pose a threat to security. So, we make sure to retire from the things which don’t make sense anymore.”
Adding on the code duplications and refactoring, Renu Rajani, Sr. IT Leader, says it is also significant to understand the time frame for code usage. She avers, “You also have to understand when the re-use of the code is not required, you do not have to take the extra burden and keep re-using the code, you can scrap the whole thing and built the new one because sometimes the cost spent on fixing is greater than building the new applications.”
She pinpoints the necessity to reward the team on their mind-solving thinking and for recommending solutions. Premal Buddhdev, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd expands on the same and says, “The fundamental thing is to fix the culture part and have our developers and IT team be fearless. Also, the debt teams are penalized, which should not be there as it will make them focus on solutions. Once you have that in place, you can optimize your tools as much as you want”.
In recent times, as the customization of the SAS products is becoming the new generation cause for the tech debts, Buddhdev shares his experience and suggests avoiding the customization in the first place along with evaluating the local markets which help to standardize 70-80% of the market requirements.
“Second can be the regional area as it helps you to have the custom for the region but still very standardized at the entity level. Thirdly, you can use the tools and solutions which are outside your main SAS solutions to run the customization part. That ensures the sanity of the overall region and, then the local team can take care of the very upgrade. So, that’s what we are following,” he says.
As the innovations keep mending ways for every challenging technical debt, Joseph highlights the role of start-ups in providing the solutions and locating the risk areas. He says, “All start-ups are welcome and we are willing to take some of them for future collaborations”.