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September 16, 2021

Higher Digital Launches New Technical Debt Assessment Tool

New Assessment tool gives higher education institutions the insights they need to identify and reverse the negative effects of misaligned technology decisions


September 16, 2021 – Tysons, VA – Higher Digital, the leader in digital transformation for higher education, enhanced its (SEA)results® assessment platform to address the increasingly challenging issue of Technical Debt. Available for free to any employee of any institution, the Technical Debt Assessment takes only a few minutes to complete, is completely confidential, and delivers recommendations tailored to the institution based on the answers provided by each respondent.


This new assessment capability builds on Higher Digital data analytics that correlate organizational behaviors with conditions related to Technical Debt. For example, institutions that customize software tend to experience performance degradation of critical systems at peak times. The recommendations provided in the results highlight practices that reduce Technical Debt and 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.


Higher Digital defines Technical Debt as “the deferred maintenance cost resulting from prior technology decisions.” Like the deferred maintenance recorded on infrastructure and machinery by financial accountants, the negative effects of Technical Debt compound over time as technology ages unless proper maintenance is performed such as through software upgrades. Technical Debt can also be created when “brand new” 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 negative effects of Technical Debt show up in a variety of forms: systems and processes become harder to change, changes are more costly and take longer, and software maintenance expenses grow while producing less value. “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,” said Wayne Bovier, CEO and Co-Founder of Higher Digital. “Technical Debt is a key performance indicator (KPI) 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.”


To take the Assessment and gain insight on how to reduce Technical Debt at your institution, visit our (SEA)results® page. Higher Digital respects and protects your privacy, consistent with global standards. All data reporting is anonymized at the individual and institution level. Please read our Privacy Policy for more details.


About Higher Digital

Higher Digital is a digital transformation company that provides consulting, software, and data benchmarking tools to significantly reduce the time and cost for higher education executives to assess, plan, and measure their technology strategies. Higher Digital is headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia, and has offices in London, UK and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.