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Technology Debt: Toward a new theory of technology heritage

Conference paper
Authors Johan Magnusson
Bendik Bygstad
Published in Proceedings of the 22nd European Conference on Information Systems, Tel Aviv, Israel, June 9-11, 2014.
ISBN 978-0-9915567-0-0.
Publication year 2014
Published at Centre for Business Solutions (CFA)
Department of Business Administration
Department of Business Administration, Accounting
Language en
Keywords Technology debt, technical debt, IT governance, IT management, debt
Subject categories Business Administration


Investment decisions related to information technology simultaneously constrain and facilitate prospective options. Hence, past and present decisions in relation to information technology investments impact future decisions and the maneuverability of organizational IT. The purpose of this paper is to develop and explore a new theory for better understanding how technology heritage impacts future decisions. The study expands a previous metaphor from software engineering and management (technical debt) into a broader theory of technology debt, and explores the proposed theory through the case of four investment decisions at a large, public university. As the findings show, there are clear indications of the theory being useful, and this is elaborated on in relation to future studies.

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