IBM’s split into two companies became final last Thursday, when its spin-off, Kyndryl, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The new company, formerly IBM‘s managed infrastructure services arm, begins life with more than US$19 billion in revenue and over 90,000 professionals serving customers in more than 60 countries. It currently serves 75 per cent of the Fortune 100.
“We are thrilled that Kyndryl is today an independent company — with 90,000 of the best and brightest professionals, a strong balance sheet and a path to growth,” said Martin Schroeter, Kyndryl’s chairman and chief executive officer in a statement. “There is a large and growing need for digital transformation services, and our unrivaled global expertise in creating, managing, and modernizing mission-critical information systems positions us well in a market that will expand to more than $500 billion by 2024. We look forward to the path ahead, with a flatter and faster company that is at the heart of progress for our customers and for the world.”
The company now has freedom of action to deepen its partnerships in the ecosystem, noted Kyndryl Canada president Xerxes Cooper in an interview. ” You think about the ecosystem, think about the hyperscalers – the Microsofts, the AWS, the Googles – you think about partners like VMware and ServiceNow. Fantastic IP, fantastic products,” he said. “But clients need help. They need skills, they need services capabilities to help them to implement, manage, and run those systems. As a standalone enterprise, we now have that freedom to forge these partnerships on our own and deepen these partnerships, co-create with these partners. And it’s been fantastic.”
Kyndryl’s services are focused on six key areas: applications, data, AI; cloud services; core enterprise and zCloud; digital workplace; network and edge; and security and resiliency. Advisory and implementation services are wrapped around each, and Cooper thinks Kyndryl will do well in this space, given today’s skill shortages.
“One of the areas where I think Kyndryl is going to really thrive is helping our clients really adjust, augment, and boost and amplify where they need to go forward,” he said. “Traditionally, Kyndryl has played in the area of managed services. We’ve been really working towards building out our advisory services, our advisory capabilities. And that’s an area where clients can really engage with us differently, get access to very specialized skills, very specialized, niche areas.”
He went on, “We’ve been hiring and really building out the capability, whether it’s edge and 5G, whether it’s cybersecurity, whether it is across deep, deep cloud architectural skills, all of these are areas where we’re really building that skill set.”
Cooper believes that the hiring initiative, combined with what he calls “a thirst for retooling and retraining themselves” among existing employees, will provide the necessary skills. “It is really about just painting a vision of what we want to do for our clients, keeping our clients at its heart,” he said. “A culture where folks can feel like they’re part of a team, they’re supported, they can continue to grow their skills. And I think that’s what’s really made us successful in this area.”
And then there are the trees – 90,000, one for every employee, that are being planted worldwide in partnership with One Tree Planted as Kyndryl’s gift to the environment. Markham, ON’s Rouge Valley was the recipient of some of Canada’s share.
“What Kyndryl is today, and what we want to be going forward is really looking after and managing the vital systems that power our clients and our marketplace,” Cooper explained. “So, when we thought about that, it took like a nanosecond to make the correlation to the environment and trees, and the vital role that trees play in our ecosystem. So Martin Schroeter, our CEO, decided that we were going to plant one tree for every employee in Kyndryl.”