Technical Debt Management

Manage and Remediate Architectural Technical Debt

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How do organizations manage technical debt?

Explore the tools used to manage different types of technical debt. Dive into code quality, security analysis, performance monitoring, and more. Discover the missing piece in addressing architectural technical debt and how Architectural Observability tools like vFunction play a crucial role in a comprehensive debt management strategy.

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What is Architectural Technical Debt?

Architectural technical debt is the accumulation of architectural drift, such as suboptimal design decisions, legacy patterns, and shortcuts taken during the SDLC over time. Architectural drift creates complexity and entanglement of application domains, resulting in a “big ball of mud” and diminishing innovation. This includes the build-up of such things as class entanglements, deep dependencies, hidden dead-code, long dependency chains, and database table dependencies. Monolithic applications are prime examples of this pattern. vFunction Architectural Observability Manager helps architects identify and prioritize specific, actionable tasks to incrementally address architectural debt, reduce dependencies, and slowly untangle the monolith, story by story, task by task.

Source Code Static Analysis Tool Differences

Architectural technical debt is not source code complexity or cyclomatic complexity analysis. Architectural technical debt is hard to find and harder to fix as it requires both static analysis and dynamic observability to catch architectural drift early and pinpoint specific modernization opportunities to focus on. Code quality analysis tools only utilize static analysis and focus solely on source code hygiene, detecting common “code smells” – typically a result of sloppy programming, bugs, or innocent mistakes. Architecture technical debt requires both static and dynamic drift analysis to understand how the application is composed, how it behaves in production, and how it’s changing. This includes identifying interdependencies across resources, database tables, and classes and detecting drift over time by observing real user activity through dynamic analysis

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assessment hub aging frameworks

Enterprise Technical Debt Scoring, Trending, & Reporting

Enterprise architects and chief architects using vFunction Architectural Observability Platform can assess, monitor, and report on enterprise application fitness and technical debt across their estate or key application areas. vFunction measures enterprise application complexity based on code modularity and dependency entanglements, analyzes the risk of changes impacting stability based on the depth and length of the dependency chains, and then aggregates these to assess the overall technical debt level. It then benchmarks debt, risk, and complexity against the organization’s own estate, while identifying aging frameworks that could pose future security and licensing risks. With AI-driven algorithms trained from hundreds of monolithic applications, vFunction gives organizations a clear picture of how much per dollar invested into the application goes towards actual innovation, versus how much goes towards managing technical debt.

Actionable Technical Debt Analysis

With the ability to pinpoint architectural technical debt hotspots and architectural standards, enterprise architects can track and trend technical debt remediation programs. vFunction Architectural Observability Manager allows enterprises to accurately identify and prioritize which apps to modernize, construct an actionable roadmap for refactoring, and track enterprise-wide progress on modernization. By further identifying the top 10 debt classes, you can see the benefits gained by simply refactoring those alone. When combined with the business value of each of these applications, organizations can stack-rank which applications to modernize first, quantify the complexity, and clearly assess the benefits of modernization. Application architects can utilize the same instrumentation and platform to create stories for fixing drift, refactoring, re-architecting, or rewriting components in future sprints.

vfunction application modernization platform dashboard

assessment hub base report

Modernization Platform Engineering

vFunction automates application modernization and provides a process that can be applied across multiple teams, applications, and functions. This provides an architecture observability and modernization platform engineering solution with a set of best practices that can be shared across teams and across the enterprise. Application architects can analyze their apps in production or test and assessment reports help prioritize which applications are the best candidates for refactoring and which domains to focus on in those applications for maximum impact. This allows architects to stack rank the applications and their domains by complexity and business value. Executive dashboards track and progress across all applications and teams.

Monitor, manage, and modernize your software architecture with the vFunction Architectural Observability Platform