For today\u2019s IT organizations, how the future will evolve often depends on how handicapped they are by technical debt. Successful digital transformation requires moving at the speed of business, but significant technical debt makes moving into agile, DevOps delivery methods difficult. Whether it is the application itself or the toolset around the application, a legacy footprint may not be sufficiently current to move into anything other than a very ad-hoc or de minimis approach to modern delivery, says Barry Brunsman, principal, CIO Advisory at KPMG.\n\u201cFor example, your chance of being able to move at market speed when you\u2019re dealing with an ERP solution that is 20 years old is highly unlikely,\u201d he explains. \u201cIn addition, your ability to attract talent and effectively manage talent in a new technology age, when you\u2019re hiring people to work on a 15-year-old technology, is also unlikely.\u201d\nSo how can you reduce your technical debt related to legacy systems and move towards a vibrant, value-filled IT future? Keep these three major considerations in mind:\n1. IT leadership needs a long-term strategic plan.\u00a0 \n\u201cI often see clients where the leadership doesn\u2019t have a clear plan of how they will reduce their technical debt and bring in long-term IT modernization,\u201d says Priya Emmanuel, managing director of cloud strategy and transformation at KPMG. \u201cMany decisions are still made in silos to solve a current problem, instead of thinking about a long-term strategy that underpins the overall business need and digital transformation.\u201d\n2. Carefully construct the transformational agenda.\nCertainly, says Brunsman, organizations simply need to pay off their technical debt, by spending to make key aspects of the technical environment current. But currency, he warns, doesn\u2019t necessarily generate new business value. \u201cHowever, pay-down of technical debt can become, essentially, a tax that is part of a broader transformative agenda,\u201d he says. Carefully constructing the transformational agenda is key, including a balance between costs that gets the organization current and investment that drives growth. \u201cYou can blend those together to accomplish a couple of different objectives,\u201d he says.\n3. Take advantage of opportunities that evolve from technology debt.\nTechnology debt can create aspects of an operating model solution that an organization might not otherwise consider, says Brunsman. For example, with an enormous technology debt in infrastructure, the organization could seek an outsource provider that takes on aspects of infrastructure and, at the same time, closes the technical debt gaps.\n\u201cBasically, you sell the technical debt by moving the responsibility for closing the gaps to an outside provider, which in and of itself could create some business value,\u201d he explains. \u201cThen, you can use that new outsourced platform as a basis for other opportunities to capture business value.\u201d \u00a0\nParts of the operating model solution, in this case, are actually triggered by aspects of technology debt. \u201cPerhaps the idea of sourcing their technical infrastructure is something that hadn\u2019t been considered until it was seen as a solution to a technical debt problem,\u201d he adds.\nClick here to learn more.\nSome or all of the services described herein may not be permissible for KPMG audit clients and their affiliates or related entities.\nThe information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.\nThe KPMG name and logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of KPMG International.