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Governing Technology Debt: Beyond Technical Debt

Conference paper
Authors Johan Magnusson
Carlos Juiz
Beatriz Gómez
Belén Bermejo
Published in ICSE 2018 Conference Proceedings
ISBN 978-1-4503-5713-5
Publisher ACM
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Keywords IT investments, Technical debt, Technology debt, IT governance
Subject categories Business Administration, Economics and Business, Information Systems, Social aspects


Technical debt has successfully captured the interest of practitioners and researchers alike. We argue that the concept of technical debt holds much more currency within the strategic Information Systems literature. Hence, we have developed a research framework for expanding the concept of technical debt into a new concept we dub “technology debt”. This expanded concept aims at capturing the path-dependencies reported in literature in regard to digital investments, and to make these both researchable and manageable. Technology debt is defined as the constraining effects of previous governance decisions on future decisions, including technical debt as important factor, but not unique. According to the findings, technology debt is a feasible method for highlighting the constraining aspects of IT investments and including these in the investment evaluation by governing body. This offers support for corporate stakeholders involved in the decision- making surrounding IT related investments, particularly in IT governance and management processes.

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