Technology Record - Issue 27: Winter 2022

100 V I EWPO I NT Mainframe data unleashed R I CHARD BA I RD : K YNDR Y L Kyndryl and Microsoft are approaching mainframe data with a growth mindset to help customers gain access to business-critical information and realise new possibilities When you have looked at something the same way for a long time, it becomes difficult to see new possibilities. But if someone comes along with a different perspective, they can see it all differently. Applying a growth mindset can make those possibilities visible and make all the difference, which is what happened when Kyndryl partnered with Microsoft. Many people in the technology sector that have limited experience with mainframes think that the mainframe is dying or dead. The reality is that customers are still buying and using mainframes to run some of the most important businesses in the world. Kyndryl, for example, currently manages over six exabytes of customer mainframe data. Mainframe customers typically fall into three archetypes: the investor, the maintainer, and the divestor. The investor is, as the name suggests, investing actively in their mainframe estate. The maintainer is not investing to expand their mainframe estate anymore but is instead leveraging their current footprint that is running key areas of their business. The divestor is either partially or entirely moving off the mainframe to Microsoft Azure for various reasons. It is important to note that it isn’t always cut and dried – an investor can be a divestor. Mainframes are complex with a multitude of data types and applications that can be decades old. There is no company on the planet with more combined years of experience working with them than Kyndryl. Working with Microsoft solution architects, we approach the problem from the persona of ‘the business’ to design paths to value that can meet a customer where they are on their hybrid journey. From the perspective of helping an organisation gain access to a holistic view of their data via a single dashboard and enabling data-driven business operations, it has always been a challenge to unlock siloed data stores. It is an inconvenient truth that although mainframes are powerful engines for a business, the data is difficult to access. Although more software-as-aservice-based data sets have become available for businesses to gain insights and new data streams like social media have become increasingly accessible, the mainframe data seemed to remain locked on an island that was very hard to get to due to issues such as a lack of resources and a skills gap with legacy languages. So, that’s where we started. How could we help customers access mainframe data? Our journey of co-innovation led us to design the Mainframe Data Pipe to Azure, which leverages the Microsoft Power Platform to create new possibilities for any customer that has a mainframe estate. Mainframe data becomes the new rich operational data source that can join a business’ other data, delivering “Wherever you are in your hybrid journey, Kyndryl can help evaluate all the paths”