Over the past 18 months, organizations awoke to the need for digital innovation and transformation as an existential issue. Business leaders recognized that software is central to digital innovation. As the need to quickly create more apps grew, demands on IT skyrocketed. So did the IT application development backlog.
Technical debt is a part of software development. Some technical debt is inevitable—but too much can overwhelm developers, draining resources and infringing on IT’s ability to innovate and solve business problems. A recent study found that 91% of organizations struggle with technical debt.
Unfortunately, the impact of technical debt is only getting worse. With tight deadlines and limited resources, organizations often turn to quick and easy solutions outside of IT to get the job done. But that creates big problems in the long run. For instance, IDC estimates that through 2022, 90% of organizations will need to remediate the technical debt incurred around the design, quality, and security of applications they rapidly stood up during the pandemic.
Read on to learn the impact of technical debt, why technical debt management is important, and how low-code can help.
What is the impact of technical debt?
On average, IT organizations spend 38% of their time on maintenance activities, such as the need to maintain applications, secure enterprise and customer data, ensure backwards compatibility, avoid technology obsolescence, and support the latest devices or endpoints.
This endless list of items needed to maintain business operations eats up roughly two full days per IT employee each week. In certain industries, such as banking, companies are spending as much as 75% of their IT budgets just maintaining legacy systems. Far from being an IT-only problem, technical debt’s negative impact extends throughout the enterprise.
Consider this statistic: Over 500 million digital applications and services will be developed and deployed by 2023—the same number of apps that were developed in the last 40 years, according to IDC. With volume like this, organizations can’t afford to stick with the status quo, letting technical debt continue to build up. That’s where a low-code comes in.
How low-code helps with technical debt management
Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Low-code provides that fresh thinking. It empowers organizations to build powerful applications quickly while reducing the burden of ongoing maintenance for their IT teams, allowing them to redirect resources to the innovation that drives business forward.
Low-code is a different way of developing applications. Rather than writing lines of code, developers create applications using visual, intent-driven development tools. Embracing low-code enables organizations to break free of the technical debt burden.
Low-code manages technical debt at every step: design, development, integration, maintenance, and beyond.
Low-code platforms free development teams from technical debt, allowing them to get back to the types of innovative development that attracted them to IT in the first place. Because the platform takes care of the updates and upkeep usually handled by IT teams, low-code not only reduces the maintenance burden of already-busy IT staff, it significantly cuts the overhead costs of running an application.
Managing the impact of technical debt
Watch the video to hear what Appian CEO Matt Calkins has to say about low-code and technical debt. And discover more benefits of low-code in the whitepaper: The Future of Enterprise Application Development.
 2018 Digital Transformation Readiness Survey, Appian and DevOps.com
 IDC European Accelerated App Delivery Practice, 2021.
 IDG “The Future of Work” Report, 2018. appian.com/future-of-work-part-2/.
 IDC, FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2020 Predictions, DOC #US45599219, October 28, 2019