Global IT spending will reach $4.4 trillion in 2022 – 4% higher than last year. As part of this growth, businesses are progressively adding tech stacks to meet customer demands.

However, this comes along with unintended consequences. As your reliance on technology grows, the more technical debt could pile up, leading to serious financial repercussions.

Every management decision for your system has an opportunity cost. Your architectural systems need to keep complexity at bay and avoid massive technical debt.

These common complexity factors factors could heavily impact your system’s overall serviceability:


Operational Complexity

To measure operational complexity, you must consider how difficult it is to make the system work according to your expectations. The more difficult it is for a system to run smoothly, the higher its complexity and, subsequently, its cost.

To reduce operational complexity, businesses can start with:


Evaluating the existing workflow

Single out the operational areas obstructed with complexity. One key indicator of over-complexity is if the system rarely meets availability SLAs. You can also check if multiple systems support the same business functions.


Encouraging feedback from on-the-ground staff for complexity reduction

Top management is often disconnected from day-to-day operations. When investigating operational complexity, the middle managers and employees responsible for running operations should have more insights into what is causing unnecessary difficulty in their tasks. Involve them.


Prioritizing simplified processes

After gathering the information from the first two steps, you need identify how you can streamline processes and workflows to improve operational efficiency and remove bottlenecks. It may be helpful to involve process management experts like Wavestone, who can offer experience and expertise gained from real-life implementations.


Support Complexity

Constant care and support are needed for a system to continue performing at optimal levels. Support complexity is measured by how quickly you can respond to and solve daily problems as they arise.

Complexity levels can be higher for businesses where system maintenance is not considered an essential factor. Without proper recovery processes in place, you’ll jeopardize the company’s long-term success. When this happens, production will halt, and you’ll lose time and money trying to fix malfunctions or breakdowns.

Lowering support complexity can improve processes and incur less technical debt. It will also reduce the coding re-work ratio

Here are some warning signs that indicate your organization has high support complexity:

A lack of proactive alerts and logs for analysis

Ad-hoc recovery processes

Little or no system documentation


Integration and Technology Complexity

An IT estate revolves around multiple interconnected systems, which allow a business to run smoothly. You can measure integration and technology complexity based on the maturity and consistency of your solution’s architecture.

To get more of an understanding of your organization’s integration and technology complexity, you can start with the following questions:

Is data often entered manually between systems?

Is file sharing generally used as the primary means of data exchange?

Are most of your systems centrally located and managed (e.g., by cloud/data centers)?

Are your applications and systems aligned with modern architecture standards?

If you answered “Yes” to the first two questions and “No” to the last two, you likely have a high integration and technology complexity situation on your hands


Functional and Usage Complexity

A prerequisite of any well-built system is that users face low difficulty navigating it, and it meets critical business needs. For instance, if any vital tasks within your organization require numerous manual processes to complete, this wastes time and takes significant user effort.

You can look at your user training processes as another indicator of functional and usage complexity – if users need over a week of training to use a system, you have a budding issue.

Data integrity and reliability are also crucial in your complexity reduction efforts, and you should have a robust data loss prevention strategy in place.

The complexity factors mentioned above often do not show up in isolation. Some may even seem to work in opposition. A simple, intuitive user interface is often supported by a very complex technology backend.

Making decisions to reduce complexity is about striking a proper balance within the deliverable. You can actively ensure that no avoidable complexity is introduced into your projects through the factors listed above.

You may also need to determine whether you need to engage external help to take on the challenge of reducing complexity and technical debt. Wavestone’s process optimization experts have worked with various industry leaders to enhance and improve their operations.

We can give you specific steps to break down the barriers to your technology transformation efforts as well as a roadmap for what to do next.



Our team is a blend of high-quality talent from all levels who can tackle your most complex issues with a fresh approach. With a globally connected network of 4,000 employees, Wavestone is designed to help you get results. All our consultants thrive on complex challenges, enjoy blazing new trails, and are committed to your organization’s success.

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