5 Signs Application Technical Debt is Holding You Back

How are IT directors supposed to invest in the future when they’re still paying for the decisions of the past?

The challenge

The problem holding most organizations back is technical debt, or the true, long term costs of implementing quick, decent enough solutions because the right solution would have taken longer and cost more. While the quick solution may make sense in the moment, over time, that leads to an IT environment burdened by a tangled web of old and new systems, some managed by IT and some by the business, a mixture of cloud and on-premises solutions, all based on different architectures.

In such an environment, it becomes next to impossible to create exceptional customer experiences, new value and services, or to optimize how you operate and go to market — all the things today’s IT leaders are expected — nay, required — to do.

Delivering growth in today’s market requires an application environment designed for the digital age. One that:

  • aligns to the business’ goals and operates process first;
  • has the agility to incorporate the latest technologies quickly, leveraging software as a service and ready made integration solutions;
  • embraces the latest architectural standards, such as containers, serverless architectures and third party API integration and
  • optimizes applications by fitting the infrastructure to them, not the other way around.

Here are five signs that your application technical debt is holding you back:

  1. Can’t experiment quickly enough: “Fail fast” is everyone’s mantra these days. Can your team identify new technologies, standup a test environment, integrate them with current systems, and deliver a prototype in weeks or even days?
  2. Can’t scale to support performance requirements: Your applications may be working adequately in their current environments, but compared to digitally optimized companies many businesses realize their legacy applications lack agility, scalability, and overall show a diminished performance. You know this middling performance impacts your customer experience, but you can’t scale to meet increased demand.
  3. Can’t integrate data across silos: Integration within an organization used to be sufficient. Today, organizations must be able to integrate applications and data no matter where it resides; cross your company, with partners and customers.
  4. Can’t collaborate between IT and line of business: Who is defining the processes that drive your operating model? The line of business requires applications to support the ability to operate and interact with the customer. Can your applications be tailored to support those business processes or is it the other way around?
  5. Can’t predict and manage cybersecurity threats: Legacy applications often suffer from security flaws, leaving your organization vulnerable. Do you have the tools, team and resources to anticipate the next cybersecurity threat? Are the security protocols across your legacy applications up to the challenge?

The solution

 At Rackspace, our most forward-thinking customers are employing what we call continuous application modernization to eliminate technical debt and boost their ability to create new customer experiences, add value and services, and speed time to market.

Traditionally, application modernization has been IT-centric, a function of devops or traditional IT architecture where the goal is to refactor, re-purpose or consolidate legacy software. Continuous application modernization recognizes the ongoing nature of the effort, including the importance of laying the groundwork for future technologies. By creating the right application environment your organization will have the ability to adapt to whatever comes next, and whatever comes after that. You’ll be architecting for your future.

Best of all, you don’t have to go it alone. In Rackspace, you get a one-stop, unbiased partner focused on your outcomes, with unrivaled cloud experience to deliver continuous application modernization through a full spectrum of professional and managed services. Our “Process First. Technology Second.” approach allows our experts to dig deep and understand your goals, then figure out the best technologies to get you there.

Don’t let years of technical debt stop your organization from tackling application modernization. Let Rackspace help deliver the differentiated business value necessary to delight customers and grow your business by transforming your application environment.


Learn more about Rackspace Application Services.

Brannon Lacey is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the growing portfolio of offerings in Rackspace Application Services. Prior to his current role, Brannon has led a variety of cross-platform product lines including Rackspace Managed Security, Cloud Office, Digital, Managed Pivotal Cloud Foundry and VMware. Before coming to Rackspace, Brannon was a Principal Investor with Samsung Ventures where he was responsible for global investments and portfolio management, focused mainly on mobile and Internet technologies. Brannon is an active member in the San Antonio community where he is a Board Member and Advisor for BuildSec Foundry and a Board Member for San Antonio Sports. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BSBA, Entrepreneurship, MIS from the University of Arizona’s Eller School of Management.

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