Jubock Ryu | Managing Director, Kyndryl Korea

Just as roads, bridges, railways and ships move goods across the globe, technical infrastructure is necessary in the movement of data. Data, analysis and insight are the lifeblood of 21st century enterprises. They are the essential substances businesses need to thrive, compete and win in the face of intense competition and shifting headwinds. In a complex global economy that is more digitized than ever, that infrastructure must be efficient, reliable and secure. 

Success requires seizing and understanding the smallest units of information – real-time updates on production, distribution and logistics, feedback from partners, customer demands — and harnessing them to adjust tactics, set strategy and make immediate changes as needed.  None of that can happen without resilient infrastructure – the hearts, lungs and nerves of enterprises – that drive the right information to key decision-makers to be catalyzed to solve critical business challenges and create growth opportunities. This is invisible work that is made possible by a complex web of systems and technical infrastructure operated by trusted experts who know how to design, implement and run them. 

What we’re seeing
Companies are experiencing persistent demand for higher levels of efficiencies and even better experiences for their customers. That demand has enterprises pursuing the promise of digital transformation.

By going digital, business leaders are realizing that better insights from their data is possible. They can spot trends and patterns to make better decisions.  Just to give you an example, it is estimated that enterprises created and captured 64 zettabytes of data in 2020. That’s a lot of data, and it creates enormous complexities. Data analytics help leaders extract value from that data.

There is also an urgent and obvious need to make information and technology systems more secure. This is top of mind for CEOs who are increasingly concerned about cyber threats to their operations and growth prospects.

Another shift is the move to cloud. Approximately 85% of the world’s largest organizations are moving their applications to the cloud and modernizing their IT environments.

Lastly, companies are adopting new technologies like automation, AI and machine learning at a much faster pace than we’ve seen, and it’s expected to continue as companies look to integrate new technologies into their existing IT environments.

What we’ve learned from driving digital transformation 
In recent years, many companies and organizations have attempted to digitally transform their organizations to take advantage of the power of data, and many of them have experienced major and minor failures. Having led several transformations for our customers, we understand the importance of establishing consensus within the organization on why technological change is needed and what will be achieved through it. Beyond that, it is necessary to define the need, goal, vision, and means, and partner with leading decision makers across your organization. If transformation is carried out in a silo without communication between departments, the project may become larger than necessary, or it may result in wasted costs while losing the original purpose. 

Another frequently cited stumbling block to driving digital transformation is when changes in company culture and organizations lag behind changes in processes and technology. Even though new technologies and solutions have been introduced, employees' work processes or methods do not change accordingly or are underutilized. Some of the challenges are in building belief among employees or, in rallying the leadership team to follow through. 

Successful digital transformation requires changes at the people and organizational level, that is, innovation in the organizational culture or way of working. Even if a new technology is introduced, it is ultimately people who create innovation by using it. From this point of view methodologies such as ‘design thinking’, ‘lean startup’, and ‘agile’ are cited as core elements for digital innovation.

It's not easy to drive digital transformation internally, and every company is different. Getting there is a journey.   

Our experts work alongside our customers to identify their most urgent and strategically significant challenges – and then we apply our organizational and technical knowledge in cloud, cyber resilience, artificial intelligence, digital workplace, applications and network and edge practices to problem solve and create new opportunity. This is the work that Kyndryl does best, and we’ll continue to explore how to take advantage of emerging tech trends in coming editions.