Technical Debt: Your Hidden DevOps Nightmare - Part 1
January 16, 2019

Brandon Carroll
TEKsystems Global Services

Technical debt is a phrase that you may have heard once or twice before. For those who haven't, it's typically defined as what results when legacy platforms or highly integrated and dependent systems and processes inhibit large enterprise organizations from meeting the needs of internal business stakeholders. In many cases, the core objectives that drive real, monetizable business value (e.g., customer acquisition, customer retention and new revenue opportunities) are not aligned to the esoteric IT goals of "automation" and "Agile development." This creates a fundamental disconnect between business and IT.

CICD (Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery) and DevOps are mere buzzwords that enterprises are seemingly adopting to address this issue — with mixed results at best. There's a fundamental focus in enterprise IT today on technology-driven solutions to clear technical debt and "automate things." However, enterprise IT often forgets their due diligence in working directly with the business to define the integrated solutions that'll modernize the application portfolio, drive agility and scalability, and increase release velocity — i.e., setting the table to drive out necessary features and functionality to a consumer base faster in a secure, defect-free manner.

To better align business and IT objectives, enterprise organizations should focus on the core "problems" that individual business units face today in driving out real consumer value. Until the roadblocks and inhibitors — and, ultimately, the resultant technical debt — are removed from the equation, large enterprise organizations will continue struggling to succeed in real transformation initiatives.

To better define a potential solution, organizations should first define the "problems" across the affected business units.

The Business Problem

Businesses need to stay competitive by constantly driving new revenue opportunities and improving the customer experience. Delivering new features, functionality and an enhanced user experience is critical for any consumer-facing application. These goals are highly dependent on speed to market, requiring more frequent software releases. This becomes an issue when cumbersome legacy systems and monolithic processes can't deliver necessary technical solutions as quickly as the business demands, negatively affecting the company's ability to compete or introduce new products and solutions into the marketplace.

The Development Problem

Large, monolithic applications are no longer feasible to support the ever-changing market demands of mobility and new feature or functionality delivery. Product and development teams must respond to business requests faster with high-quality deployments. Yet IT organizations are dealing with the underlying dependencies and voluminous integration points with legacy data sets and platforms.

The result? A nightmare scenario where IT becomes the bottleneck to business and development goals. Traditional ways of working on the IT side don't align with the speed-to-market objectives development teams need to meet. While software releases may be "small" as organizations become more agile, they are fraught with risk as QA and security are either forsaken or delay the release of new functionality to consumers that the business demands.

The IT Problem

Enterprise IT organizations are increasingly realizing that they must deliver secure infrastructure at a cadence that meets business and development needs. The inherent technical debt associated with highly dependent, integrated legacy platforms, siloed management structures and antiquated provisioning processes stands in the way of meeting core business objectives.

When underlying platforms and infrastructure have so many dependencies and integration points, configuration management becomes all but impossible in lower-level environments and, ultimately, production environments. This leads to delayed releases and deployments because, like security and QA, they have become production release blockers.

As most enterprise organizations have separate QA and security groups not aligned to the business, development and IT goals, "faster" is the enemy of quality and security, which delays or inhibits the overall business goals.

Read Technical Debt: Your Hidden DevOps Nightmare - Part 2, offering a plan to align business goals with IT solutions.

Brandon Carroll is Director, Transformation, DevOps and Cloud Services, for TEKsystems Global Services
Share this

Industry News

December 01, 2022

Salesforce introduced a new Automation Everywhere Bundle to accelerate end-to-end workflow orchestration, automate across any system, and embed data and AI-driven workflows anywhere.

December 01, 2022

Weaveworks announced that Flux, the original GitOps project, has graduated in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF®).

December 01, 2022

Tigera announced enhancements to its cluster mesh capabilities for managing multi-cluster environments with Calico.

December 01, 2022

CloudBees achieved the Amazon Web Service (AWS) Service Ready Program for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Spot Instances.

November 30, 2022

GitLab announced the limited availability of GitLab Dedicated, a new way to use GitLab - as a single-tenant software as a service (SaaS) solution.

November 30, 2022

Red Hat announced an expansion of its open solutions publicly available in AWS Marketplace.

November 30, 2022

Sisense announced the availability of the Sisense CI/CD Git integration module.

November 29, 2022

Codenotary announced TrueSBOM for Serverless, a self-updating Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) for applications running on AWS Lamda, Google Cloud Functions and Microsoft Azure Functions that is made possible by simply adding one line to the application source code.

November 29, 2022

Code Intelligence announced its open-source Command-Line Interface (CLI) tool, CI Fuzz CLI, now allows Java developers to easily incorporate fuzz testing into their existing JUnit setup in order to find functional bugs and security vulnerabilities at scale.

November 29, 2022

Parasoft announced the 2022.2 release of Parasoft C/C++test with support for MISRA C:2012 Amendment 3 and a draft version of MISRA C++ 202x.

November 28, 2022

Kasm Technologies announced the release of Kasm Workspaces v1.12, providing major enhancements to its portfolio of digital workspaces delivering Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Remote Browser Isolation (RBI), Open-Source Intelligence Collection (OSINT), Training/Sandboxes, and Containerized Application Streaming (CAS).

November 28, 2022

Cloud4C has achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) DevOps Competency status.

November 28, 2022

Simplilearn has acquired Fullstack Academy, for an all-cash transaction.

November 22, 2022

Red Hat introduced Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.1and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.7.

November 22, 2022

Armory announced its new cloud-based solution called Continuous Deployment-as-a-Service, now available on the AWS Marketplace.