April 7, 2022

Top IT Initiatives 2022: Focus on Technical Debt & Cloud Migration

LeanIX surveyed Enterprise Architects and IT leaders from 140 companies globally about the strategic relevance and urgency of various IT initiatives including technical debt, cloud migration, security and sustainability

BONN, Germany and BOSTON – April 7, 2022 – LeanIX, the platform that enables continuous transformation across the enterprise, today announced the release of its Enterprise Architecture and IT Strategy Survey. Among the key findings, the survey found 41% of Enterprise Architects (EAs) and IT leaders consider reducing technical debt and modernizing legacy systems the top IT priority. In support of this, close to 60% of respondents placed a high priority on migrating key applications to the cloud.

For the full survey findings please download the report here.

Strategy Survey What should be IT's top priority 2022?


Technical Debt and Cloud Initiatives Go Hand-in-Hand 

Between December 2021 and January 2022, LeanIX surveyed EAs and IT leaders from more than 140 global companies. Per the survey findings, reducing technical debt is a clear priority for EAs. Technical debt – extra unplanned work a company needs to perform in order to upgrade or change technical systems – poses security risk, adds avoid cost to IT operations, and hobbles innovation. The survey found that EAs are eager to address this challenge: 

  • 96% of respondents acknowledged their company has at least one project planned for this year aimed at reducing technical debt.
  • 52% of respondents said that retiring IT applications, which are no longer used but still consume resources, is the top initiative for reducing tech debt.

In addition to the risk and inefficiency associated with it, technical debt also impacts other critical organizational priorities and initiatives, such as cloud migration. 24% of respondents indicated that cloud initiatives should be a top IT priority. This relatively low number could be due to the fact that many companies already have at least some workloads in the cloud or have already begun their cloud transformation journey. When asked further about which cloud initiatives were most important, the survey found that 60% of EAs are focusing on migrating key applications to the cloud. Cloud migration, when done right, involves optimization for the cloud. Technical debt can get in the way of this optimization, so managing technical debt is a necessary complement to a successful cloud strategy.

The second most important cloud initiative (41%), according to the survey, is increasing the amount of SaaS in enterprise application portfolios. Replacing on-prem or self-developed systems with SaaS solutions is a tried-and-true method for reducing technical debt.

Additional Considerations for IT Leadership

Per the survey results, EAs and IT leaders are clearly focused on reducing technical debt and moving key applications to the cloud. However, there are other IT strategies that are on the rise:

  • Key Security Initiatives Come into Focus: While only 16% of those surveyed considered the evolution and improvement of their security posture a top priority, more than two-thirds overall saw security initiatives such as improving risk assessment capabilities and adopting more Zero Trust technologies as important or highly important.
  • The Case for Value Stream Management (VSM): 73% of respondents agree that EAs should form a closer connection with software development and expand collaboration. Almost three quarters of respondents agree on the importance of tracking the business impact of software development, a key tenet of VSM.
  • Lack of Commitment to Sustainability: Many companies publicly claim a commitment to sustainability, but only 52% of the IT leaders surveyed reported concrete sustainability initiatives in their organizations for 2022. The majority of these initiatives focused on data collection and reporting.

About LeanIX

LeanIX’s Continuous Transformation Platform® is trusted by Corporate IT and Product IT to achieve comprehensive visibility and superior governance. Global customers organize, plan and manage IT landscapes with LeanIX’s automated and data-driven approach. Offering Enterprise Architecture, SaaS Management, and Value Stream Management, LeanIX helps organizations make sound decisions and accelerate transformation journeys. LeanIX has hundreds of customers globally, including Adidas, Atlassian, Bosch, Dropbox, Santander or Workday. The company is headquartered in Bonn, Germany, with offices in Boston, San Francisco and around the world.