The New Business Norm: Technical Debt

The outbreak of COVID-19 has drastically altered how leading businesses deal with their technology. This unanticipated shift provides a chance to settle existing technological debt that companies may have. This change within the corporate structure is expected to persist long after the pandemic has passed, hence addressing it should not be overlooked.

Historically, the main obligation of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) was to guarantee uninterrupted operations. The IT department focused on limiting expenses, and the CTO was accountable for the company’s purchases. It is probable that the CTO was aware of any technological debt in the company, but it was presumably accepted as standard practises before the advent of cloud infrastructure and Agile methodologies.

When incorrect incentives are implemented, it is conceivable that a misalignment of strategy might emerge within the lower echelons of an organization. Today, business leaders urgently need to create their product roadmaps to drive income. Nonetheless, differing goals necessitate procurement’s ability to adjust promptly. Regrettably, this is where things can go wrong: procurement is still primarily concerned with cost containment and handles the acquisition of resources for vital digital transformation in the same way it would obtain office equipment.

Addressing Technical Debt

Recent advancements have brought significant changes to the current situation. Some companies focusing on enterprise technology have handled the transition seamlessly. However, others have encountered difficulties in adapting to usual modifications in business strategy. Even a small, but meaningful shift such as transitioning from in-store and courier services to door-to-door deliveries, can have a significant impact on a company’s digital and product plans if its leaders are not quick to acclimate.

Conventional CTOs can no longer neglect three types of “technical debt”:

  1. The cost of technology cannot be disregarded.

    As the Chief Technology Officer, it is crucial to prioritize staying ahead of digital trends and driving change instead of getting caught up with daily operations. When assessing potential markets and making decisions on product roadmaps, annual budgets are not the sole consideration. While operational tasks must still be taken into account, it may be advantageous to outsource some of these responsibilities to be managed as services.
  2. In the realm of office space, IT corporations may function independently.

    For some time now, many small businesses have embraced the concept of having remote teams. Nevertheless, until recently, the conventional corporate office had not been coerced to re-evaluate their approach.
  3. The procurement process is slow, unreliable, and not aligned with business objectives.

    Chief Technology Officers have a crucial role in leading the shift away from the traditional, time-consuming approach of procuring services, which can take months to complete. By comparison, developing a minimum viable digital product can be accomplished in weeks. Consequently, some business executives are adopting a more independent approach, circumventing the formal procurement process to establish quicker digital collaborations. Although this may offer short-term advantages, it can also pose a significant risk to scalable business operations, which are vital to a company’s growth and progression. Therefore, it is essential that CTOs drive change and encourage leaders within the organization to take the necessary measures to ensure that their business operations are durable and scalable.

It is crucial to acknowledge technical debt as it is, divide it into distinct tasks, and begin addressing it. Despite the ubiquity of business continuity strategies, the long-term implications are often disregarded. The current COVID-19 crisis is expected to continue for months, if not years, which implies that our current actions are likely to become our permanent strategy.

It is optimistic that many businesses have already deftly navigated these difficult times and that the current situation will serve as a stimulant for a company-wide, top-down realignment of strategy.

Please elaborate on how we are providing assistance.

  1. As the sole viable alternative for significant organizations to stay competitive, we have formed partnerships with our clients to swiftly grow their teams and implement strategic changes in their business models. This cooperation enables us to provide the necessary assistance to ensure that our clients have the ability to remain competitive in the current market.
  2. Works’ expansion strategy has always been centred on solely recruiting top-tier talent, regardless of their origin. Although we did not anticipate having to concentrate on providing this service as a means of guaranteeing our clients’ business continuity, the present circumstances have offered us an opportunity to do so.
  3. Through collaboration with our corporate clients, we deliver consistent outcomes that can facilitate transformation within an organization.

This is a time of reflection for major organizations as they evaluate their current procurement strategies and ultimately choose to shift away from practices that have been in use for years. Challenging decisions are being made, but new partnerships are being forged, founded on empathy and concrete outcomes.

I am thrilled to contribute in any way possible to aid my colleagues in the industry to tackle these issues directly.

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