Guest Post

More Than a Metaphor: Three Ways to Recognize and Address Technical Debt

May 11, 2021

2 minutes

Sam Shrefler

By Sam Shrefler | Candoris

Love it or hate it, technology is the backbone upon which all successful businesses and organizations are built. Yes, we said all. We are long past the days of getting away with ignoring advancements in technology because we don’t understand, don’t have time, or simply don’t want to. If your business is lagging, you may think you need better marketing. That could be true, but you may first need to evaluate your company’s technical debt.

Much like financial debt, technical debt is sometimes necessary to expedite products and services to market, but you must make and follow through on plans to eliminate that debt or you could wind up with a larger problem on your hands. In other cases, technical debt may be lurking in antiquated equipment, process, or systems that are slowing you down. And honestly, some technical debt is simply incurred by accident.  

To help us make sense of technical debt, we are thrilled to feature a guest post from Sam Shrefler, Chief Technology Officer at Candoris. As a leader in the digital transformation industry, Candoris specializes in data security, digital workspaces, and innovative infrastructure solutions that boost productivity for their partners and clients. We are proud to serve Candoris as a client and are hopeful that this post will help you to recognize, acknowledge, and address any technical debt that could be holding you back.

Making Sense of Technical Debt

Technical debt is a concept that applies value to the time, effort, and money necessary to assure your organization has the necessary technology in place to meet the demands of your business. Technical debt can come in different shapes and sizes and much like financial debt, not all technical debt is bad, but it does incur interest and grows over time. It is important to assess what technical debt you have, where it came from, and plan for how and when to address it.

Technical debt can be incurred in three ways: deliberate action, accidental choices, and time-lapse.

There are multiple variables that play into the equation of making a technical decision, and often the cost is of primary concern. Decisions happen within a certain context and it’s not always feasible to get the perfect solution. The decided trade-offs incur deliberate action technical debt.   Sometimes mistakes are made, a poor solution may have been chosen, and what seemed like a good idea at the time turns into accidental choice technical debt. Other times, the perfect solution is implemented, but over time the environment changes, and the solution no longer meets the requirements creating time-lapse technical debt.

While assessing and identifying the source will not remove technical debt, it will help budget and prioritize what needs to be addressed. As the difference between the existing solution and what is now necessary grows, so does the technical debt, making these discussions and assessments essential. Candoris utilizes its broad view of the technology landscape to be a trusted pathfinder as our customers both work to understand their current technical debt and assist implement new solutions to modernize infrastructure, elevate security, and supercharge productivity.

Sam Shrefler

About Sam Shrefler

Sam Shrefler graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and from the New York Institute of Technology with a master’s degree in business administration. His professional role at Candoris has evolved from Senior Software Engineer to Director of Application Development, to VP of Software Engineering, to his current title as Chief Technology Officer, where he is responsible for service delivery, internal IT, and charting future corporate success.

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