“Technical debt” is defined as the amount of money that companies must spend to maintain their code. When that debt gets too high, it can stop work on more innovative and productive projects. According to Jim Highsmith, executive consultant for ThoughtWorks, notes that some companies are spending “spend 50-75% of their resources” on their technical debt.
Other analysts observe that the recent economic conditions have exacerbated the problem. “When budgets are tight, maintenance gets cut,” says Gartner analyst Andy Kyte. “After a decade of tight budgets, the scale of the maintenance backlog has created systemic risk, particularly for large organizations.”
Fortunately, several new tools are helping businesses get a handle on their technical debt.