There are a number of definitions and types of technical debt, however, this article refers to what is often known as Environmental technical debt. This is when a Development team fails to actively manage changes in technology, updates, and code maintenance to legacy code over time. This leads to a deteriorated product that requires greater efforts to repair, exposes you to greater security threats and ultimately may lead to the product not being supported.
When you have source code, you automatically have technical debt. The more source code you have the more technical debt you end up having. Technical debt occurs at all stages of a product life cycle – from inception, with the refactoring of source code of an initial implementation because of lack of planning or rushing development through to when change requests occur or any of the above underlying technologies change.
Future-proofing means minimizing the impact on your application from new versions of technology.
Similarly, when you upgrade to the newest version of your Database Technology, or you want to move to a different Database technology. This is particularly pertinent when software vendors discontinue/end of life a particular database or version of that database.
Changes to Programming Language Technologies can also have a material impact e.g. from Server Side Rendering and ASPX Pages to client side front end frameworks like Angular, Vue or React, or API changes from e.g. Rest APIs to gRPC or HTTP to HTTP/2 protocols.
For example, if you have 400 screens in your application, then all 400 screens will have to be changed/refactored.
One of the interesting questions for your development team or software development partner is how much time to they devote to the future-proofing of your application?
In our approach to successful software development we minimise the use of programming languages in a bid to reduce the overall size (of the code base) and hence complexity of the application.
Instead of a programming language that will go through multiple version changes over any period of time, we make extensive use of Metadata, which is programming language agnostic and doesn’t suffer from the overhead of new releases.
The implication of this is that instead of having to refactor or make extensive changes to all your source code that will appear through your application, we only need to change our template screens instead of the whole application, and we just need to change the translation layer that talks to the metadata.
When a new version of technology comes onto the market, that you want to use in your application all we need to do is make a one-time change to the translation layer and then the application can automatically take advantage of that technology.
This makes it much easier to safeguard our customers from frequent changes in technology. This leads to two major benefits for our clients:
Maintaining an application that has been created using the SCAD Software Framework is much easier than a similar application created by a programming language.
It should mean that you can significantly extend the life of the application without having to rewrite the application as a result of ageing technology. Today this window is narrowing for many clients from what was 5-6 years can now be as frequent as every 2-3 years.
We future-proof our client’s applications as a part of our in-life Management of their solution and is in our view a hall mark of successful software development.
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With an illustrious career spanning three decades, Dawie Martins has cultivated expertise in diverse technology-related businesses across various sectors, including Retail, Hospitality, and Consultancy. His journey, which has taken him from a developer's role to Product Management, uniquely positions Dawie to lead the charge in Customer Success and Product Management services for our clients.
In his role as Head of Customer Success, Dawie operates at the intersection of commerce and technology. His mission is to ensure the seamless translation of commercial imperatives into highly effective software applications that not only meet but exceed the outcomes specified by our clients.
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Shawn De Wet brings to SCAD Software over two decades of unparalleled expertise in software systems delivery. His career exemplifies a relentless pursuit of problem-solving excellence and a commitment to end-user satisfaction, achieved through meticulous system architecture and design. Proficient in core enterprise ERP systems, Shaun's recent achievements stand as a testament to his prowess, including the conception and successful launch of two cutting-edge SaaS products on the robust Azure platform.
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Andy Fensham's journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to reshape the software development landscape. With a background in global banking software consultancy, he founded SCAD Software in 1998 with a visionary goal – to address the mounting technical debt that was becoming a liability for businesses worldwide.
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Andy's dedication not only safeguards our clients' future but also cements SCAD Software's position as an industry trailblazer. He continues to lead our innovation roadmap, constantly seeking new ways to enhance our offerings with more examples of how we can turn “minutes to seconds”.
With an impressive career spanning over three decades in the Technology and Telecoms sectors, Shaun Orpen brings a wealth of experience to his role as Group CEO. His journey began with the groundbreaking entry of Microsoft Excel into the UK market, a stepping stone that eventually led him to play pivotal roles on the UK Executive Board during Microsoft's meteoric rise from £10 million to £1 billion in revenue.
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His steadfast ethical stance, mirrored by his partner Andy Fensham, forms the bedrock of SCAD Software's principles, defining our approach to client interactions and business dealings.
Stephen Moore's illustrious career speaks volumes about his leadership capabilities. With a rich background spanning diverse industries such as Retail, Events, Technology, Telecoms, and Media, he has consistently demonstrated his ability to craft and execute growth, differentiation, and exit strategies in highly competitive markets.
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What sets Stephen apart is his global perspective, cultivated through extensive work in the UAE, US, Singapore, Hong Kong, and EMEA. This international experience enriches SCAD Software's strategic direction, making him an invaluable asset in our mission to navigate the complex landscape of digital transformation and empower our clients to achieve enduring success.