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IT Management

Assessment Tool Gauges Cost of Technology Decisions

Higher Digital, a provider of consulting, software, and data benchmarking tools for higher education, has created a new assessment tool focused on the organizational behaviors and conditions that lead to "technical debt." The Technical Debt Assessment is free, confidential, and takes only a few minutes to complete, according to the company.

Defined as "the deferred maintenance cost resulting from prior technology decisions," technical debt can lead to performance degradation of critical systems, increased expenses, difficulty in changing systems and processes, and other negative effects, Higher Digital explained in a news announcement. It can result from lack of proper maintenance, or even be created when software is "purchased without centralized coordination, customized beyond the limits of the vendor's software framework, and/or integrated with other systems without enterprise architecture planning."

The Technical Debt Assessment offers recommendations tailored to the institution for reducing technical debt — practices which "have shown to correlate with better outcomes ranging from improved data consistency, better system performance, greater progress on technology initiatives, and more consistent IT budget compliance," the company said.

"It's easy to see technical debt as a technology problem, but it's not. It's a business and organizational prioritization problem that requires a sober understanding of how much Technical debt exists and how to slow down or stop its growth," commented Wayne Bovier, CEO and co-founder of Higher Digital, in a statement. "Technical debt is a key performance indicator of digital health, and it has the potential to single-handedly cost an institution its future, but to understand how to combat technical debt, you first need to know where you stand. We created this assessment to help individuals evaluate their institution's technical debt and implement recommendations to reduce it."

For more information, visit the Higher Digital site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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