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Kyndryl Unveils AI for Mainframe Modernization and Hybrid Cloud

Kyndryl Unveils AI for Mainframe Modernization and Hybrid Cloud

The News: Kyndryl, a leading global provider of IT infrastructure services, has introduced new consulting and managed delivery services powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI. These services aim to help organizations leverage their mainframe application and data assets to enhance their hybrid cloud transformation efforts. Read the press release here.

Kyndryl Unveils AI for Mainframe Modernization and Hybrid Cloud

Analyst Take: Kyndryl, the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, has made significant strides since its spin-off from IBM over 2 years ago. The company has navigated a challenging transition period, shedding unprofitable contracts and streamlining its operations. As a result, Kyndryl is now well-positioned for growth in the fiscal year 2025 and beyond. The company has established strong partnerships and has strategically aligned itself to capitalize on emerging market opportunities, particularly in the realm of mainframe modernization and hybrid cloud integration.

What Was Announced?

On May 16, Kyndryl unveiled a comprehensive suite of new AI and generative AI-based consulting and managed delivery services aimed at accelerating mainframe modernization. This announcement underscores Kyndryl’s commitment to leveraging cutting-edge AI technologies to enhance the capabilities of mainframe systems, which remain a critical component of IT infrastructure for many large organizations.

Kyndryl’s new services are designed to help organizations unlock the full potential of their mainframe application and data assets as part of their broader hybrid cloud transformation strategies. The company is training over 5,000 of its mainframe professionals in AI and generative AI skills, augmenting their already extensive certifications in mainframe and cloud technologies. This initiative positions Kyndryl to support the rapid development and deployment of AI-enabled solutions within mainframe environments, thereby addressing a significant skills gap that many organizations face.

Mainframes continue to be a strategic IT foundation for thousands of organizations worldwide. According to Kyndryl’s research, 90% of organizations believe that mainframes are essential to their business operations, and 95% are modernizing and running them as part of a hybrid cloud environment. Despite the critical role of mainframes, many organizations struggle to integrate AI and generative AI technologies due to a lack of expertise and the complexity of these systems.

Kyndryl’s new AI and generative AI services address this challenge by offering a range of solutions tailored to the needs of mainframe customers. These services include:

  • Moving Workloads Off the Mainframe to the Cloud: Kyndryl provides generative AI-produced and enhanced application documentation, enabling fast and efficient automated conversion of mainframe application code to modern languages such as COBOL to Java. AI-based insights into business logic and data relationships help customers quickly address new business opportunities.
  • Integrating Mainframe Applications and Data with Cloud or Distributed Environments: Kyndryl assists in enabling secure access to mainframe data used in cloud-based AI solutions, ensuring interoperability between mainframe and cloud systems. This integration drives improved asset financial usage through AI-infused, dynamic workload placement.
  • Modernizing Workloads on the Mainframe: Kyndryl advises on application code modernization to avoid potential production issues, integrates real-time AI solutions into mainframe applications for better business insights, and enables quantum-safe data encryption to enhance compliance with security and regulatory requirements.
  • Optimizing Application Developer Agility: Kyndryl implements DevSecOps tools and processes, including AI-based recommendations, to provide real-time insights into programming best practices and faster time-to-market for customers. Data scientists can build new AI models and integrate these LLMOps tools with existing DevSecOps tools and processes.

To support these initiatives, Kyndryl is leveraging its AI-infused Kyndryl Bridge open integration platform, which provides operational insights and facilitates the deployment of responsible AI solutions. Additionally, the expanded AI capabilities are supported by Kyndryl Consult, the company’s AI and data advisory and implementation services. These services include assessments, innovation workshops, and proofs of concept, helping customers define and achieve their AI goals to drive critical business outcomes.

Petra Goude, Global Practice Leader for Core Enterprise & zCloud at Kyndryl, emphasized the transformative potential of these new services. “Kyndryl is taking a bold next step to enable and accelerate our customers’ mainframe modernization journey by unlocking their applications and data through the deployment of AI and generative AI,” said Goude. “Our innovative approach will help customers reduce IT transformation efforts and costs, enhance agility and resiliency, mitigate skills challenges, and drive better outcomes by optimizing their mainframe estates to thrive in hybrid environments.”

Looking Ahead

Kyndryl is poised to play a pivotal role in the mainframe space, managing over 6 million MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second) and boasting the industry’s strongest bench of mainframe skills. The company’s commitment to continuous learning and upskilling ensures that its workforce remains at the forefront of technological advancements, particularly in AI and generative AI.

Under Petra Goude’s strong leadership, Kyndryl’s mainframe practice is well-equipped to drive innovation and deliver exceptional value to customers. Goude’s vision and strategic direction have been instrumental in positioning Kyndryl as a leader in mainframe modernization, ensuring that the company can meet the evolving needs of its clients in an increasingly complex and dynamic IT landscape.

As Kyndryl continues to expand its AI and generative AI capabilities, it remains committed to helping organizations maximize the value of their mainframe investments. By integrating advanced AI technologies with robust mainframe systems, Kyndryl is enabling customers to achieve greater efficiency, security, and agility in their IT operations, setting the stage for sustained growth and success in the digital age.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Market Insight Report: Mainframe Ecosystem Q4 2023

Author Information

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.

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