Technical debt is no longer just a “technical” problem. As recent, widely publicized events have shown, it is a business problem that can have serious consequences for organizations. The government and Congress are taking notice of unfair consumer experiences, and it is crucial for businesses to address their technical debt and minimize the risk of negative press, government fines, and damaged reputations.

What is technical debt?

Technical debt can be defined as the accumulation of legacy systems and applications that are difficult to maintain and support, as well as poorly written or hastily implemented code that increases risk over time. These technical challenges can significantly impact the performance and stability of critical operations, and it is essential that these be addressed before they cause damage to your organization. By listening to the voice of customers, employees, and other users, businesses can identify potential technical debt early and prioritize their modernization efforts.

Addressing technical debt can be challenging, especially for overworked and understaffed IT teams who are tasked with maintaining aging systems while also learning new development frameworks, languages, and techniques. Band-aid fixes may be easy to implement, but they can be difficult to maintain in the long term and often do not adhere to industry best practices. Prioritizing old fixes can feel like a waste of time to the technical team if things are working now, especially when they may be understaffed and overwhelmed with current workloads. The need to learn new systems while keeping the old systems up and running smoothly can generate staffing issues, as the IT team is tasked with simultaneously maintaining aging systems and learning new techniques.

The warning signs of technical debt are clear. Employees may complain that the technology they use is cumbersome and time-consuming, ultimately hindering their job performance. Customers may describe applications as clunky, buggy, and outdated. If these complaints sound familiar, then it is time to act and reduce technical debt.

How to break free

There are several options that companies can consider before getting started with reducing their technical debt:

Perform a short code review to provide a comprehensive overview of the level of risk and identify critical issues that need to be addressed.

One of the key components of reducing technical debt is to have a clear understanding of the underlying issues and challenges within one or many applications. This can involve a comprehensive analysis of the current technology infrastructure, identifying systems and processes that are causing the most pain and need to be addressed first. A code review process can provide valuable insights into technical debt, including identifying code that is outdated, poorly written, or difficult to maintain. This information can help prioritize the modernization efforts, ensuring that the most critical issues are addressed first.

Conduct an application modernization quick start workshop to develop a roadmap of modernization efforts, outlining the steps needed to improve the technology infrastructure.

An application modernization quick start workshop can help organizations take the first steps towards reducing their technical debt. A workshop can provide a roadmap for modernization efforts, including the development of a detailed plan outlining the steps required to improve the technology infrastructure. The workshop can also provide valuable insights into the modernization process, including best practices for modernizing legacy systems, optimizing application performance, and improving the customer and employee experience.

Develop an application modernization program to manage the intake process, governance, technical architecture, DevOps, and end-to-end development, reducing risk, accommodating change, and delivering better customer and employee experiences.

An application modernization program can provide a comprehensive solution to reducing technical debt. This program can manage the intake process, governance, technical architecture, DevOps, and end-to-end development, reducing risk, accommodating change, and that deliver better customer and employee experiences.

At Protiviti, we are dedicated to helping organizations navigate their application modernization journeys and achieve success in improving user experiences and reducing technical debt and business risks. Our team of experts understands each organization’s unique needs and provides tailored solutions to ensure the success of modernization efforts. We help companies take the first step towards reducing technical debt and improving both technology infrastructure and brand with modern applications that are intelligent, engaging, and easy to use.

Learn more about Protiviti’s Innovation vs. Technical Debt Tug of War survey results.

Connect with the Authors

Amanda Downs
Managing Director, Technology Consulting

Alina Zamorskaya
Senior Manager, Technology Consulting

Digital Transformation

Over the past two decades, cloud computing has evolved from a method that utilized extra data center capacity to the mission-critical infrastructure across enterprises that we see today. But along the way, the transformation and dramatic growth of the cloud have created increasingly complex, multi-account, and multi-region environments that can hinder, rather than accelerate, a company’s ability to deploy and manage globally connected networks.

Enterprise IT groups struggling with this complexity can transform their environments through new cloud-based networking architectures that stress simplicity across multi-environment connections, while also providing additional flexibility that can help reduce overall costs.

“Enterprises should be able to move anything, anywhere, at any time, for any reason,” says Robert DeWeese, Chief Cloud Architect of Next Generation Network & Edge Computing at Kyndryl. “This includes the ability to treat the network as a roadmap for adopting new features and technologies, so that when something new comes along, you can take advantage of it.”

DeWeese says that the complexity issues around multi-cloud and multi-region environments first surfaced when enterprises began creating multiple accounts for their cloud projects and then had to figure out how to effectively connect those accounts.

“They often had to do a complex workaround of networking, VPNs, and other components to make the infrastructure work,” he says. AWS, recognizing the growing complexity, has continued to build out its connectivity services. In 2018 it launched AWS Transit Gateway, the first big evolution in cloud networking. “Transit Gateway changed the game, enabling you to connect one account to another without a complex set of workarounds to bring traffic back to one data center just to go back into another account, or connect a VPN from one account to another,” says DeWeese.

More recently, AWS developed AWS Cloud WAN, which sits on top of Transit Gateway and makes it easier to build, manage, and monitor a global network that connects resources running across cloud and on-premises environments.

“Cloud WAN is different than older technologies in that it’s a managed service,” says Puneet Chopra, Global Domain Leader, Enterprise Networks, SDN and Cloud Based Networking with Kyndryl. The Cloud WAN service delivers three main capabilities to enterprises: automation, orchestration, and agility, which combine to reduce go-to-market times.”

“Now enterprises have a single point of control from where they can configure multiple VPC networks through a drop-down policy, the logic of which via APIs is built in the Cloud WAN, saving immense time,” says Chopra. 

Kyndryl’s Network and Edge Practice has certified and skilled technology experts who can help configure Cloud WAN and Transit Gateway to meet client needs, along with business experts who can provide guidance on the business model to deliver better ROI. “That ROI perspective is important because CIOs and CFOs are often making these purchase decisions together,” says Chopra.

Eliminating the need for complex workarounds

Additional Cloud WAN benefits include:

A single, unified, global point of control that lets users configure an entire network from one network policyA centralized dashboard, monitoring and event bus that shows physical and logical topologiesBuilt-in automation that lets users define their own routing, propagation, and attachment mapping that defines segment relationships through policyAutomatic network creation by AWS (through peering and dynamic routing) based on AWS Region definitions in a core network policy.

Together, Transit Gateway and Cloud WAN give organizations more flexibility in their cloud environments by eliminating the need for complex workarounds. These advances can help organizations simplify their end-to-end connectivity infrastructure to improve speed to execution – which benefits all aspects of the business.

It’s important to work with a trusted partner to configure and deploy the services properly. Learn more about how Kyndryl and AWS are innovating to achieve transformational business outcomes for customers.


April 14, 2022

Source:  Tim Guido, Corporate Director, Performance Improvement, Sanmina | Manufacturing Tomorrow

Many industries such as the automotive, medical and semiconductor sectors must comply with third party standards to control processes, reduce risk and ensure quality during the manufacturing of products. Over the past few years, organizations have begun to embrace an even broader mindset towards risk-based thinking, motivated by the growing discipline of regulatory compliance and an increasing number of unexpected global events that have impacted their operations.

When manufacturers want to implement a new production line, they are examining all of the possible risks and scenario planning for every reasonable action that could either prevent or mitigate a risk if it materializes. Some people call this business continuity, risk management or disaster management. Nothing has brought these concerns more to top of mind than the past few years of dealing with trade wars, the pandemic, extreme weather and supply chain shortages.

Risk Management Checklist

Risk management is about the practical investment in preventative and mitigating measures that can be tapped during a crisis. There are four main areas to consider when building a risk management or business continuity program:

Risk Assessment. The first action to take is to put a stake in the ground in terms of what could go wrong at each plant, whether it happens to be a fire, earthquake, chemical spill, cyber attack or something else. This will vary for different regions. The possibility of an earthquake impacting operations in California is much higher than in Alabama. An act of terrorism may be more likely to happen in certain countries versus others.

Let’s say a manufacturer is setting up a new production line. The first step would be to complete a risk assessment form that spans different areas – Employee Health and Safety, Finance, HR, IT, Operations and Program Management. Based on the guidelines provided, the person completing the form identifies possible issues and potential impacts – this could be anything from production or shipment delays to impacts to employee health and safety. Then a threat rating is assigned between 1 and 5 for both occurrence and impact, with 5 being a critical situation that warrants the most attention.

Then, preventative and mitigating measures are determined based on factors that could contribute to the adverse event. Are there inadequate controls, lack of monitoring or poor training that might add to a problem? Could these areas be improved to either prevent or lessen the potential impact? While an earthquake isn’t preventable, an organization could retrofit their building and upgrade IT systems to ensure that people are safe and can still perform their job duties if a temblor hits.

Incident Management & Business Recovery Planning. Building out all of the details for incident management and business recovery is essential, if not glamorous. A contact list needs to be created so that a key lead can contact all affected employees, customers and suppliers during a disaster. Getting customers and suppliers in the loop early could enable them to become part of the solution. A call notification script should be drafted that provides consistent communications to impacted parties and decisions need to be made about whom gets told what in certain scenarios. Checklists and drills should also be included, such as how to safely clear employees from a facility.


Internal Audit Checks. Once the business recovery plan is drafted, it should be audited annually. This ensures that the right action plans are included and the correct project leaders and backup leads are identified and verified. Each section, such as advanced planning, revision histories and recovery priorities, must be evaluated as part of the audit to ensure that there’s a solid plan in place and that all participants are properly trained and on board with the approach.


Test Exercise. Every plant should run through a drill for their highest-priority emergencies to evaluate preparedness. They must be able to prove that there’s a data IT recovery capability and have a rough idea of what can be done for a customer in the scope of the test exercise. If work needs to be moved to another location, are they able to confirm the backup plant’s capacity and a timeline for the transfer? Do they understand the open orders that need to be transferred? How does the detailed recovery plan work in terms getting operations back up and running?  For each action, what would be considered a success and how soon? A sample objective would be to get access to a site within one hour and have at least 80 percent of the team notified within the hour of a situation.

After running a drill, evaluating its effectiveness and making improvements to the plan and communicating it to the team should occur. If actions such as getting access to the site, notifying the team, understanding orders, getting alternate facility confirmation and knowing the right customer contacts can all be demonstrated during the exercise, then the majority of functional activities are ready to go, even if the actual crisis requires some fine tuning of processes. Just like the overall plan, the test runs should be performed at least once a year to verify their continued relevance.

Preventing Problems Before They Happen

At Sanmina, we are seeing increasingly robust expectations for risk management programs across the markets that we serve. Customers are more eager to get involved in understanding the details of these plans than ever before and are considering them an integral part of their manufacturing strategy.

It’s vitally important to understand potential risks, evaluate the scope and effectiveness of an action plan and cultivate a living risk management process that is periodically reviewed and updated. It’s also critical to instill a preventative mindset within an organization’s culture because it’s not always an intuitive thought process. While fixing a problem in the moment may be beneficial, it’s important to build a mindset that’s not just about corrective thinking but a proactive approach that identifies potential root causes that could help prevent or lessen a problem that may occur in the future.

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