The time for digital transformation is over, but some organizations are still lagging behind. A successful transformation means having the right resources (money and talent) in place. As US IT departments continue to hemorrhage cash trying to maintain downed systems, now is the time for IT managers to consider how to prepare for an inevitable economic downturn while dealing with a huge technological debt and a lack of the right talent to get them out of it. .
Stop cutting corners
It’s a vicious circle. Rather than getting to the root of the problem and replacing technology, companies are cutting corners by bypassing (or even reworking) bad code and poorly designed software. While it may seem like they’re saving a few dollars in the short term, the fact is, they’re losing money – year after year.
A recent study from Stripe and Harris Poll found that the average developer spends 42% of their time dealing with technical debt and maintenance issues, of which 3.8 hours are spent just debugging hard-to-maintain “bad code.” The cost of bad code isn’t cheap: IT organizations choose to spend $85 billion a year reclaiming bad technology rather than building or buying better software.
While it’s easy to say that all the blame lies with poor choices and budget issues, a severe lack of needed talent digs the hole deeper.
Hire the right people (and let them do their job)
We’re all tired of feeling the impact of the big resignation, but the fact is, it left many tech companies and IT departments dry. While the talent shortage is a global issue, in the case of America’s tech debt resolution, a shortage of software developers and engineers to hire leaves those with jobs misused and left to their own devices for deal with projects focused on keeping toxic legacy systems in place. If deployed properly, a report from Stripe shows that this niche talent pool could actually add $3 trillion to global gross domestic product (GDP)) over the next several years.
For various reasons ranging from lack of access to training, experienced workers suffering from burnout, a serious shortage of skilled labor is in full swing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the shortage of software engineers in the United States will reach almost 1.2 million by 2026 — an alarming statistic for an industry already in debt of billions.
If you can’t build it, buy it
While spending more after already spending so much in vain can seem daunting, knowing when to let go can save a lot of money in the long run. Although the best-known enterprise software solutions come with a premium price tag and a team of consultants to help you get started, not all solutions are created equal. Shop around – the solutions you need are here. Check what you have, what you use, and note the features you don’t use. Not only does this save money on the software itself, but buying a solution that’s easy to try, buy, and use can help reduce churn. A recent report shows that out of 9,000 employees surveyed in different industries around the world, nine in 10 are frustrated with workplace technology – and nearly half are considering changing jobs.
Develop a strategy for success
Planning for the future is a must – and having software developers and engineers at the strategic planning table is crucial. Including your frontline workers will help ensure that you have the right product roadmap and the right people and technology for the long term. Not only is a strategy focused on the future rather than the current reduction of future technology debt, but it can also save you from staff turnover. If you don’t waste your developers’ time, they’ll get back to doing the work they’re supposed to do and want to do.
As digital transformation continues, it’s time for IT to give employees what they need: the right tools, the right team, and the autonomy to do what they need to increase productivity and fill the technological debt hole.