Addressing Technical Debt: A Priority for Maximising ROI

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Grown-up organisations are allocating an average of 30% of their IT budgets to repaying technical debt. This represents a substantial diversion of resources that could otherwise be invested in value-adding initiatives to enhance competitiveness. The drive to accelerate project timelines often leads to operational shortcuts, placing undue strain on IT teams and compromising system security, thereby creating technical debt. Similar to financial debt, technical debt accrues interest, which can quickly escalate out of control if not managed properly. 

technical debt roi
Addressing Technical Debt: A Priority for Maximising ROI
Table of contents

Proactive Management of Technical Debt

Addressing technical debt is an urgent priority. Here are several strategies to consider:

Regular Refactoring

Continuously improve the codebase to reduce complexity and enhance maintainability.

Rigorous Code Reviews

Implement stringent code reviews to ensure high-quality standards and prevent the accumulation of debt.

Automated Testing

Utilise automated testing to ensure that changes do not introduce new issues, thereby maintaining system integrity.

Comprehensive Documentation

Maintain thorough documentation to facilitate future maintenance and reduce the learning curve for new team members.

Technical debt can have a significant impact on a company’s financial health and growth prospects. High levels of technical debt can stifle innovation, as resources are diverted to maintenance rather than new development. Furthermore, unmanaged technical debt can lead to system failures, security vulnerabilities, and increased operational costs, all of which can negatively affect a company’s market position and valuation.

Adding the Impact of AI on Technical Debt

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to significantly widen the technical gap, accelerating the accumulation of technical debt in two key ways:

Software Integration

AI is becoming increasingly embedded in all applications, necessitating continuous updates and integration efforts.

Hardware Upgrades

The advent of processors with dedicated AI computation units demands frequent updates to infrastructure, contributing to hardware-related technical debt.

The integration of AI technologies into software and hardware adds another layer of complexity. As AI capabilities advance, companies must invest in both upgrading their existing systems and ensuring that new developments are seamlessly integrated. This requires a strategic approach to managing technical debt, ensuring that the benefits of AI are fully realized without exacerbating existing technical liabilities.


For capital investment professionals, understanding the nuances of technical debt and its management is crucial. Investing in companies that proactively address their technical debt can yield higher returns, as these companies are better positioned to innovate and maintain competitive advantages. In the era of AI, this proactive management becomes even more critical. Addressing technical debt is not just a technical issue; it is a strategic imperative that can significantly impact a company’s bottom line and long-term success. 

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philippe thomas ceo vaultinum
Philippe ThomasPhilippe is the CEO of Vaultinum. An expert in new technologies and high finance, and after 20 years in the international fintech industry, Philippe now heads Vaultinum.

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