What is the impact of technical debt?
Don’t underestimate the business impact of technical debt – it can undermine the ultimate success of your business, costing you resources and growth opportunities. Here are seven expected consequences of tech debt:
1. Increased costs
Technical debt can lead to higher costs for businesses as they need to spend more time and resources fixing the issues caused by the shortcuts or underinvestments made during the development process. This is true for the development of operational systems as well as product development.
2. Lower quality of service
The quality of service you’re able to provide can be negatively impacted by tech debt. Software malfunctions are more likely to occur when developers take shortcuts or fail to address the main problems thoroughly. Maintaining and updating systems becomes challenging, leading to a higher risk of errors, crashes, and bugs. This makes for unhappy customers and increased churn rates.
3. Reputation damage
The drop in quality of service caused by tech debt can damage the reputation of SaaS businesses. If customers experience service disruptions or other issues caused by technical debt, it can lead to negative reviews and a loss of trust in the business.
4. Difficulty in scaling
Technical debt can make it difficult for SaaS businesses to scale their operations. As the business grows and the software becomes more complex, the technical debt can accumulate, making it harder to maintain and update tools and products.
5. Reduced innovation
Technical debt can limit the ability of SaaS businesses to innovate. Developers may spend more time fixing a backlog of issues caused by technical debt, leaving less time for new feature development and innovation. Deadlines get missed, roadmaps go nowhere, and developer morale drops as a result.
6. Poor security
Technical debt has severe effects on SaaS security. The security of SaaS applications relies on the security of the underlying infrastructure and the code that runs on it. When technical debt is not adequately addressed, it can lead to vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit.
7. Longer time to market
Tech debt increases the time required to bring a product to the market, reducing a company's competitiveness. The development process is mainly slowed as developers devote significant resources to addressing technical debt.