Saturday, June 22, 2024

Kyndryl says hybrid cloud seen to become norm in PH, Asean

After spinning off from tech titan IBM to become an “agnostic” IT infrastructure services company, Kyndryl – which bills itself as the world’s largest start-up — is getting ready for the explosion of hybrid or distributed cloud in the Philippines and the whole Asean region.

To address this looming demand, top executives from the company’s local, regional, and global level discussed Kyndryl’s business strategy during a press briefing held last June 6 in Makati City.

Susan Follis, managing director for Asean at Kyndryl, said that as the cloud replaces the previous standard in computing technology, it is important to put into place a change management plan.

“We focus on helping customers to manage that change because it’s very different in running a hybrid cloud than when running a public cloud,” Follis said.

Citing a survey of C-suite executives, the official said 42% of those surveyed indicated that they are focused on building this technology change management system.

A year ago, the Kyndryl executive said businesses were bent on building a cloud-first strategy or native cloud as their path to the future.

“[But] when we went back to them now, there’s a lot of discussion on distributed cloud. They are asking: ‘How do we do edge computing and how do we integrate that into the broader system?’ So, we see this whole cloud-first policy is still shifting,” she shared.

Follis said Kyndryl’s objective is to help these companies manage their requirements and ensure that they are getting the right ecosystem to run their applications.

The Philippines, she said, is a huge growth area for the company’s Asean operations, noting Kyndryl has a Customer Innovation Center (CIC) in the country where the local staff serve global customers.

“The CIC is a big contributor for us here in the Philippines.

This is interesting because we expect to derive 26% of the global edge computing revenue from Asean — that’s a $4.6-billion market,” Follis said.

The lady executive noted though that while the computing world was different five years ago, it will again undergo radical transformation in the next five years.

“And that’s why we’re focused on edge computing with 5G. We found that Asean governments are paving the way with much of this. Once the governments deploy technologies such as smarter cities, then the industry follows,” Follis said.

With more infrastructure being deployed throughout Asean, Follis added that companies based in the region will take advantage of the momentum and adopt an increasingly distributed cloud path as they embrace a federated model between cloud and edge.

“With our decades of experience in the cloud, Kyndryl is helping customers navigate the inherent friction and uncertainty that comes with complex distributed cloud deployments in today’s hybrid cloud world,” she said.

For his part, Harish Grama, Kyndryl’s global cloud practice leader, said the initial rush to move into the public cloud was driven mainly by the desire to cut cost. This trend, he said, has slowed down significantly if it has not yet totally stopped.

“The mindset then was just to take everything that’s running on premise and throw it out. Let’s use compute storage and network. Get it on the cloud as soon as possible and move from a CapEx model,” the global executive said.

“When you do it that way, you’ll find that very often you’re spending more money on cloud than you were on prem because a lot of the stuff that you’re taking to the cloud does not lend itself to really running well on the cloud.”

Grama said a new way of working – called FinOps – is needed to drive sustainable and systemic change in the way businesses manage their IT usage and spending.

FinOps, he said, are designed to optimize businesses’ IT and cloud investments by bringing together financial, technical, and business functions to drive financial accountability and create predictability in hybrid IT costs.

Fortunately, Kyndryl Philippines managing director Wilson Go said local customers are heeding their advice as more companies are asking for its help to migrate in an organized system where they actually have good control over what is happening, rather than just jumping head-on on the public cloud.

“We help them because it is not as simple as just managing the data. You have to make sure that all the different things that need to work will work,” said Go, who had previous stints as a top tech executive at IBM Philippines, SM, and Philippine Airlines.

The Filipino official said Kyndryl works with their customers, providing them consulting, advice, and design planning before the projects are actually executed and even after execution.

Also during the press event, the Kyndryl executives that the company is keen in expanding its consulting business in the country, which currently comprises only 20 percent of its local business while the other 80 percent is from infrastructure services.   

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