Kyndryl’s Harish Grama on steps businesses can take to start their IT modernization journey.

Rising interest rates, nagging inflation and banking challenges have many business leaders on edge. It’s little wonder, then, that in times of economic uncertainty businesses seek to cut expenses and refrain from investing. But the companies that aim to get stronger know the importance of spending strategically. 

IT modernization is key to business success during unstable times. Cloud migration, improving critical infrastructure and cybersecurity, and implementing a data and AI console are just a few of the ways businesses can drive agility and remain competitive. However, many companies struggle to implement these initiatives. Technology isn’t the challenge — it’s the fact that businesses aren’t organized to work with it.

Kyndryl recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey global IT decision-makers on what’s holding companies back when it comes to modernizing their IT operations.

Here, Harish Grama, Global Practice Leader at Kyndryl, talks about Forrester Consulting’s findings and shares tips for businesses on how to embrace IT modernization.


What’s preventing businesses from modernizing their IT infrastructure?

Across the global economy, operational inefficiencies, IT complexities, lack of automation and a shortage of critical IT skills have impeded IT modernization and slowed progress for most businesses — at a time when customer and employee expectations for a seamless digital experience are now table stakes. The recent Forrester Consulting survey had four key findings:

1. Businesses have old and complex IT infrastructure. Only around half of organizations can:

  • Effectively scale operations as needed (55%)
  • Quickly respond to disruptions (52%)
  • Easily adapt to unforeseen events (48%)

These statistics on improving IT systems highlight shortfalls in business’ current operations models. Also, 48% of organizations surveyed noted that they struggle to control and predict IT costs in the cloud and only 43% are easily able to identify why they have security issues.

2. Automation isn’t being adopted fast enough. The top process-related challenge for organizations regarding IT infrastructure is a lack of automation — 44% of organizations lack automation, leading to human errors not being caught. Additionally, over a third of organizations surveyed also noted that they are not embedding security throughout their current operating models, leaving them open to vulnerabilities that could fundamentally disrupt their business.

3. A shortage of in-house IT skills exists. Forty-two percent of respondents noted their organization doesn’t have the right skill sets to manage their current operating model. 

4. Companies need a partner. Nearly 60% of organizations are looking to outsource or partner with a provider to transform their operations. 


How does culture play a role in IT modernization?

Having a successful IT operation in today’s ever-changing environment requires an overhaul of traditional approaches. We believe that modern operations are a cultural philosophy. To embrace IT modernization, businesses need to have a continuous application of digital technologies, a shift in organizational accountability and an empowerment of “doers” or what we call operators. Businesses that embrace this philosophy and modernize their operations into a more modern IT department of doers will not only lower costs and break down operational silos but will empower teams to make fast and more informed decisions.


Where should businesses start when it comes to right sizing their operational issues?

The first step is for businesses to determine their most demanding challenges and blind spots. For instance, what issues are going unnoticed and unaddressed? Is it technical, contracting, legal, regulatory or compliance? They also need better transparency and visibility into their overall operations. Establishing an end-to-end view of IT operations can help identify security weaknesses and areas where they can drive more efficient processes through technologies like automation.

Also, true IT modernization projects require outside partnerships to help guide businesses through the change management, upskilling and platform integration that is necessary for a complete modernization. Businesses should look for ways to collaborate with strategic and reliable IT infrastructure service providers and partners. And this is where managed services providers like Kyndryl can help bridge the divide in skills, offer new solutions, and enhance security to help businesses achieve their goals and get cloud ROI back on track.

*Forrester Opportunity Snapshot: A Custom Study Commissioned by Kyndryl (February 2023)  

Harish Grama, Global Cloud Practice Leader at Kyndryl