So you will be aware of the concept of debt (who isn’t?) but you may have never heard of technical debt, or you heard the expression but you don’t know what it means or why it matters…

So here’s a quick description of the term :

Technical debt refers to the concept in software development where taking shortcuts to speed up the development process in the short term leads to additional work in the future. This is analogous to financial debt, where borrowing money can accelerate a project early on but requires repayment with interest later. In the context of software, technical debt accumulates when developers opt for quick and easy solutions that are not sustainable in the long run, rather than implementing a more thorough, time-consuming solution that would be more beneficial to the project’s future stability, maintainability, and scalability.

As with financial debt, technical debt is not inherently bad and can be strategically used to meet important deadlines or to validate concepts quickly. However, if not managed properly, it can lead to compounded problems, making future changes harder and more expensive to implement, and can negatively impact the quality and performance of the software.

You can take significant steps towards avoiding technical debt and the down sides as an SAP Business One customer or any other ERP customer by staying current on your software maintenance.

The Value of Software Maintenance

Staying current on software maintenance is a critical strategy for avoiding technical debt as it helps to ensure that software systems remain efficient, secure, and adaptable to changing requirements. Regular maintenance involves updating dependencies, refactoring code, fixing bugs, and improving system architecture, which collectively help in maintaining the software’s health and in preventing the accumulation of technical debt.

Firstly, updating dependencies ensures that the software uses the latest libraries and frameworks, which are more secure and efficient. This practice not only leverages improvements in technology but also avoids the pitfalls of outdated components that may no longer be supported, thus reducing security vulnerabilities and improving performance.

Secondly, refactoring is the process of restructuring existing code without changing its external behavior. Regular refactoring improves code readability and reduces complexity, making the software easier to maintain and extend. This proactive approach prevents the software from becoming obsolete, allowing teams to implement new features more quickly and with fewer errors.

The things you don’t see….

Many software vendors are constantly doing this “refactoring” inside their software even if you don’t see it and SAP have been focusing on this with SAP Business One to help address the issue of security as well as enhancing tools like the Service Layer, API Gateway and more.

Moreover, prompt bug fixing is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the software. Addressing bugs as they are discovered prevents them from becoming entrenched in the system, where they could cause more significant issues down the line.

Finally, improving system architecture to adapt to new requirements or to better reflect best practices helps in keeping the software scalable and maintainable. This forward-thinking approach allows for easier integration of new technologies and methodologies, which can prevent the software from becoming rigid and difficult to update.

The value of a product roadmap that tells you where your ERP software and vendor is heading.

In summary, staying current on software maintenance is a proactive approach that enables teams to manage and minimize technical debt effectively. It ensures software remains up-to-date, secure, and adaptable, facilitating continuous improvement and long-term sustainability but equally important is the product roadmap and staying educated on what’s possible with your current software.

You can find the SAP Business One Roadmap here –

SAP Business One | SAP Community

The Value of Being Factual

I have personally been involved in many sales cycles where I have told the customer – there’s no need to change your software, just get better help with what you already have as I know it can address the issues you are struggling with.

It may not generate an immediate revenue stream for you, but you never know, I have found people will remember you because you told them this and if they still decide to move, you have made a deposit in to the “trust bank” that will put you in a good position for that future deal.

Article used with permission from Richard Duffy LinkedIn.