Technology Record - Issue 33: Summer 2024

78 CASE STUDY: KYNDRYL Kyndryl has transformed its technology infrastructure by working with SAP and Microsoft and is now set to help other organisations to achieve the same results Empowering business transformation “ The SAP Business Transformation Center significantly simplifies data migration and transformation, while offering customers and partners an easy-to-use, guided user experience” Kyndryl, which is one of the world’s largest IT infrastructure service providers, serves thousands of enterprises in more than 60 countries globally. The firm designs, builds, manages and modernises complex IT systems for customers in every industry, including banking, insurance, government and manufacturing, and has a portfolio of over 3,000 patents. When Kyndryl separated from IBM in 2021, it inherited a series of complex legacy systems that did not align with its simplified business and evolving technology strategy. The overgrown landscape, which was made up of 1,800 applications, was not fit for purpose and required over 50 server locations. Data was scattered throughout the organisation, with more than 68 disparate information warehouses, multiple master data apps and visualisation tools and no central governance leading to limited data visibility. The firm needed to pivot to a new, cost-effective and streamlined environment that could scale with its business requirements. Furthermore, it had a 24-month transition window to complete this transformation, which also needed to adhere to specific principles. It needed to be human, customer, skill and culture focused. A key component of the Kyndryl platform strategy involved consolidating 375 legacy apps into the SAP tool suite. Rather than migrating existing customised objects, Kyndryl opted for a greenfield implementation – a blank slate based on current SAP S/4HANA technology. The firm minimised customisation by implementing unique legacy capabilities rather than adapting the standard system. Furthermore, the legacy system and the new system were simultaneously operational and synchronised. This enabled users to continue working in the legacy system while observing data in the new system. Kyndryl also decided to use Microsoft Azure as its hosting platform, and Microsoft experts including SAP specialists, Azure solutions architects and customer success account managers formed a team to provide their knowledge and experience to Kyndryl throughout the journey. “We didn’t want to create another heavily customised SAP system,” says Gino Ruggiero, director, SAP delivery partner at Kyndryl. “We saw greater benefit in using Azure architecture and working with a technology partner to make just a few tweaks around high availability.” Kyndryl leveraged Microsoft’s SAP Azure reference architecture and made some modifications in partnership with its system integrator, resulting in a highly scalable and available SAP platform that uses standard Azure services. During the first nine months of the transformation, the team rolled out the system, from development to testing to production. They then revisited each stage and made modifications as needed throughout the process. In the following three months, they focused on business functionality, beginning with central finance. The deployment team for the project opted against using a waterfall approach and instead