Kyndryl & Nutanix recently partnered up – on the national level – so as to co-develop integrated solutions and support enterprises – notably in the banking and financial sectors. Could you develop further on this collaboration purpose, and how will both companies’ solutions combine?
Fabrizio: The whole idea of this collaboration was to create synergies between both companies. Kyndryl has indeed an extensive knowledge on a wide variety of solutions, from running databases to critical applications, including virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI), among other services. And this represents a significant added-value to Nutanix’ expansion in Luxembourg, notably when it comes to delivering complete services to our customers. The idea to combine Kyndryl’s know-how and Nutanix’ cutting-edge technologies, is essentially to accelerate and to support our customers in their digital transformation. Kyndryl experts now have an infrastructure that enables faster services deployments, hyperscale approach, in the most secured environments.
Philippe: As a reminder, Kyndryl is a spin-off from IBM and celebrated its first anniversary in November. The purpose of this was to converge all activities (innovation, cloud services, security…) within one single entity. Since its spin-off, Kyndryl has the ambition to create a strong ecosystem of partners – like we did with Nutanix – to bring innovation at the core of our activity, and best serve our customers. Kyndryl thus happens to complement the Nutanix core technology and expertise across different markets, notably with our managed services and security expertise.
Considering new technologies undergo a high-speed development, it can be challenging for companies – in particular small ones – to keep up with the trends as well as to ensure an efficient digital transformation. How to best support and guide them in this process?
Philippe: It is important to settle a top-down approach. For this, there are some key steps to consider; the first one being to understand the purpose an organization wants to achieve through digital transformation, so as to align with its long-term ambition. No digital transformation process is alike, as it strongly depends on the business’ vision and priorities. The success of such an implementation also relies on the right assessment of the organization’s capabilities – in terms of infrastructures, technique, or skill sets – and on the clear definition of appointed stakeholders. The latter is essential to choose and adopt the right tools for the transformation. This will help shape the digital transformation strategy. Once it is all set, this is when we engage in the deployment process – still respecting the company’s vision and culture.
Fabrizio: Digital transformation is clearly a mean to be competitive on the market. If you want to thrive in your business environment, you need to consider the outcome of such a transformation. Not to mention that the most crucial step in this process throughout our customers is: people. People are the ones to empower the digital transformation. As professionals, we will help accelerate the steps of the digital transformation, but obviously the remaining question is: ”How will people use and accelerate this transformation?”. It is hence essential to bear in mind the business outcomes, and it comes with people, with culture. As the latter is often overlooked, it is actually a real competitive advantage to consider in any digital transformation process.
One of the main challenges today for enterprises regards data storage and security. Cloud is often associated with the best solution, but how to optimize its use so as to meet companies’ expectations?
Philippe: Data is truly the lifeblood of any organization, as it provides a solid foundation for decision making. Today, there are multiple solutions and options when it comes to storing data in the cloud. Hence the importance of adopting a suitable data governance plan, to serve both management and security purposes. This plan comprises 4 factors:
- data sovereignty: localization of the data to respect regulatory requirements
- data sensitivity: ensure data privacy requirements – such as GDPR
- data management: adopt a proper flow to respect the retention policy
- data access: set a specific mechanism to control who can access your date
This data governance plan is to be completed with the design of physical solutions, which aims at supporting cloud platforms.
Fabrizio: Cloud is an agile operational model which can support organizations in achieving their business goals. Every company needs to build their own cloud – which can be on-premise, off-premise, in a public environment (external data center). Kyndryl and Nutanix’ mission is then to help customers build a cloud strategy, and to provide their expertise and the right tools for companies to run any applications anywhere. And as Philippe said, the key part of the cloud strategy is to consider this data governance plan. And we are here to guide them through this unique plan-building process.
If we take a look at Luxembourg-based companies, do you believe they are well-equipped and well-prepared for digital transition? If not, what can be done to change this?
Philippe: We notice that organizations have already started the digital transition journey. There is no project alike, as digital transformation is a cross-disciplinary process. This is primarily led by CIOs or CTOs, who align with different business stakeholders. They also play a significant part through the coordination of the successful implementation of the digital transformation strategy, as they participate in raising awareness among the workforce.
Fabrizio: Luxembourg-based companies used to be rather reluctant when it came to technology adoption. Once they have understood and experienced the concrete outcomes of digital transformation, organizations are very fast on this journey. We partner with them in each step of the process, respecting a plan that will fit both their vision and culture. And we are pleased to evolve in this market because our customers have huge ambitions. It also encourages us to strive in providing better services and offering. I believe the Luxembourg market is ready for digital transformation: they are more ready than they think! And it is our duty to promote our services so as to help them transform faster.
It appears essential for companies to onboard all employees in the digital transition. To whom stakeholders do you refer to within an organization so as to implement it?
Philippe: Digital transformation is a collective exercise. The business stakeholders need to be clear on the concrete purpose of their digital transformation, whether it regards market share, activity optimization, or customer retention. For this reason, it appears essential to appoint an additional stakeholder- such as a Chief Digital Transformation Officer (CDTO) – who can assess organizations’ capabilities, notify the gaps and engage with other stakeholders. This enables the shaping of the roadmap to follow. It is also CDTO’s role to keep the business’ workforce updated on the digital transformation progress, in order to keep everyone engaged.
Fabrizio: It is clear that people constitute a decisive part to establish the pace of transformation. This is the reason why organizations need to be careful on how they choose to implement their digital transformation strategy. As both cloud and technology environments are fast-moving, we must have those changes ready because what is true today might not be tomorrow. This is why we need to ensure that businesses and people are set to embrace the change as they come along. I remind, and highlight, the importance of onboarding everyone within the workforce (who are also part of stakeholders), as everyone have their respective role to play.
Any last words?
Fabrizio: Technologies, culture and people were mentioned in our previous replies when talking about digital transformation. And on the same note, the Kyndryl/Nutanix collaboration is also about people: there is a close relationship among both companies’ collaborators. As our culture is rather similar, we are fully transparent in the way we work and this contributes to the success of our collaboration.
Philippe: Exactly, although we talk about digital transformation and technology, it eventually remains a people business. You must know your employees so as to create engagement, commitment. And this is essential to ensure the highest predictability of these transformations.