It’s the idea that not keeping up with best technology practices, platforms, and talent carries a quantifiable cost.
A cost in efficiencies and capabilities. A cost in opportunity. And a cost in, you know, money–both missed revenue and the inflated budgets required to nurse and manage outmoded technologies and structures.
So technical debt is bad. Even worse, it’s often perceived as “savings.” Not spending money today is seen as a good thing, even if it means that the business objectives that would improve or transform your business move ever closer to the horizon.
As in your personal finances, not all technical debt is bad. Companies can accept some debt in order to prioritize and manage risks and rewards. Seen for what it is and in what quantities, it can allow for a focusing on initiatives and ideas that are seen as most likely to move the company forward.
But too much and you constrain agility. You limit your options. You mortgage your future.
The question, then, is “how much technical debt does your business carry? And how can you pay it off?”