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Technology Debt Calculator

Your technology alignment could be holding your organization back



Instructions for Authors:

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Effectiveness of leadership

Your IT leaders have a vision for the future, the vision aligns with the business, and they execute it.

Select ‘Strongly Agree’ if your IT leaders maintain strong relationships with functional leaders, have a clear intake process for new projects, effectively evaluate/prioritize projects, and helps introduce/promote technology that can drive the overall business strategy. Lastly, the IT leaders should have a good handle on how the business operates overall and be thought of as one of the business leaders vs an IT manager.

Oversight of the IT function

Your IT department has NO deficiencies in discipline, reporting, and strategic focus.

Select ‘Strongly Agree’ if the IT department maintains a defined set of metrics and service level agreement and reports on them on a monthly basis. In addition, IT produces a consolidated monthly status on the overall IT project portfolio including budgets, what is pending, active, and completed.

Relevance of systems

Your systems efficiently provide insight and enable growth.

Select ‘Strongly Agree’ if peers within your industry use similar tools, all your core functional areas have a technology solution that eliminates offline activity and is properly scalable to support growth. Users are generally happy with the functionality of the tools they use and you aren’t behind industry peers in terms of adoption of new technology.

Appropriateness of spend

Your organization does NOT have a problem with under or over spending/misallocating funds.

Select ‘Strongly Agree’ if IT regularly creates a budget and manages to it. The overall IT budget and spend is generally in line with available industry benchmarks for organizations your size. The budget is also allocated to align with maximizing the effectiveness of the IT organization, considering commodity outsourcing and lean principles.

Process chaos

Your processes are defined and consistent from work team to work team.

Select ‘Strongly Agree’ if core business processes are following best practices with minimal offline work, use of excel, or manual intervention. Business processes should be well defined/documented and regularly followed for automation and consistent data collection.


In order to become more strategic, it’s critical to avoid getting into “technology debt” and failing to leverage innovation to improve processes and services as technology platforms evolve.

Tech debt (also known as design debt) refers to failures in building efficient software development projects. The risks associated with a poorly run information technology (IT) function might be the greatest threats to your organization, potentially costing millions, if you fail to keep up or overlook key evolutions in your industry.

Calculate your technology debt level using this tool. The five questions should take no more than a minute to complete. At the end, enter your email address to receive a numerical score for each of the five components of technology debt for your organization:

  • Effectiveness of leadership
  • Oversight of the IT function
  • Relevance of systems
  • Appropriateness of spend
  • Process chaos

A brief assessment of your current tech debt status will be provided along with your final score.

Thank you for completing the technology debt calculator. Please enter your email address here to receive your score as well as additional information to help your organization reduce its technology debt.

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