Kyndryl and VMware : The Cyber Resiliency Solution

Kris Lovejoy

The COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to working from home sparked a new rash of headlines about the rising threat of cyberattacks, as new technologies were put in place to support our new operating reality. For every headline-grabbing security breach, thousands of unreported attacks take place each day. Most of these attacks target the most vulnerable businesses – and their supply chains – through which bad actors seek to gain access to data from interconnected systems.

My 25 years of experience in cyber resiliency has taught me that we must treat living with cyber threats as one does living with viruses. They are unavoidable. The question is – how do you best protect yourself against it and assure a quick recovery in case you “catch the bug”? That’s why cyber resiliency services are an essential component of modernizing and managing any IT infrastructure, and why strategies and budgets must be aligned to address our “new normal.” Companies must make it a priority ​tofast-track modernization programs – to infrastructure like hybrid cloud – so they can achieve a resilience business transformation. 

Unfortunately, skills are a challenge for companies as they try to engage in best practice. 52% of companies report a security skills gap in their organization, according to an IDC study. That’s why at Kyndryl, we are focused on building the right skills and capabilities for the world our customers are living in. In fact, ​it is one of the drivers behind the expansion of our newly announced partnership with VMware, which allows us to combine Kyndryl’s enterprise-grade cyber resiliency expertise with VMware’s application security expertise and apply them in ways that better protect customers’ data as they modernize their IT to transform their businesses. 

The joint Innovation Lab that is part of the agreement is designed to co-develop creative solutions for app modernization, containers, observability, and security. 

Kyndryl and VMware have worked together for many years helping customers reduce risks and costs with new and managed solutions across the VMware software-defined Stack for Cyber Resiliency: all backed by Kyndryl’s managed cyber resiliency services. Partnerships like this are an excellent way to stay ahead of the skills needed to continue to combat cyberattacks. Using new and managed solutions across the VMware software-defined Stack for Cyber Resiliency, our team has helped reduce risks and costs for our customers. 

Kyndryl’s global expertise and partnership with VMware will help customers accelerate their application modernization initiatives without disrupting day-to-day operations – secure in the knowledge that their mission-critical systems are protected.  

Kris Lovejoy is Kyndryl’s Global Practice Leader for Cyber Resiliency. She was named one of the “Top 50 Cybersecurity Leaders of 2021” by The Consulting Report, and Consulting Magazine’s “Top Woman Technology Leader” in 2020. Kris also has served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s cybersecurity committee. 

Introducing Kyndryl

Today, organizations worldwide are engaged in individual and unique Digital Transformation journeys. The goal, always, is to differentiate the business and drive new value through better Customer and Employee Experiences.

But change at scale is hard and across industries, organizations face two common challenges:

  • Increasingly complex IT infrastructure
  • And a critical shortage of the technical expertise needed to support successful digital transformation (i.e., strategy, planning, execution and ongoing management).

That’s where Kyndryl comes in.

A $19B technology services company with 90,000 skilled practitioners, we design, build, manage and modernize the mission-critical systems that the world depends on every day.

For more than 30 years as part of the IBM business, customers have trusted us with their most vital systems. Market leaders – like BRF Global, SimCorp and Broadridge Financial – rely on us to help them navigate major technological change. And we’re a recognized leader by industry analysts, like Gartner, Forester and IDC.

Our purpose is accelerating your progress – and our specialty is innovation at scale.

We deliver by applying our intellectual property and Portfolio of more than 3,000 patents to simplify Complex Technology Environments. We bring together top engineering talent, operating models, and insights from IT patterns to allow our customers to minimize the risk and maximize the benefits of Digital Transformation. We also have the distinction of being the largest infrastructure implementation and managed services provider in the world.

As an independent company, Kyndryl will :

  • Have the flexibility to apply our expertise to more partner ecosystems to deliver better outcomes for our customers.
  • Expand investments in skills and innovation our customer need.
  • And become even more nimble and responsive by bringing our teams – and the decision-making authority – closer to our customers.

Kyndryl addresses both the skills and infrastructure challenges by providing the engineering talent, operating models, insights and scale for the instrumented IT environments our customers need to become digital businesses. With Kyndryl, customers can modernize and extend legacy IT, digitize the right processes and data, and actively pursue digitalization to achieve strategic objectives and enable better business outcomes.

That is made possible through an integrated solution portfolio – built on and differentiated by our mission-critical expertise, our applied data and IP, and our broad ecosystem – to help our customers reach their digital transformation goals:

  • Cloud services to help you simplify complex hybrid IT management for greater visibility, manageability and flexibility.
  • Core Enterprise and zCloud services to help you modernize and extend legacy IT to hybrid-cloud platforms for increased agility.
  • Digital workplace services to help you empower your employees to securely work across digital, physical and other environments.
  • Applications, Data & AI services to help you unlock the full potential of your ERP system on any cloud.
  • Security & Resiliency services to help you enable resilient models to mitigate risk and ensure business continuity.
  • Network & Edge services to help you prepare for the next wave of cloud with 5G-enabled edge and software-defined networking.

Kyndryl also offers advisory, implementation, and managed services across technology infrastructures that enables our customers to de-risk and realize the full value of their digital transformations. With greater freedom of action, Kyndryl extends these capabilities to an even broader ecosystem of technology providers – including hyperscalers, hybrid multi-cloud vendors, global systems integrators (GSIs), independent software vendors (ISVs) and more – to develop more services that are digitally consumable to new customers and markets.

In summary, at Kyndryl we have:

  • More than 30 years of designing, building and managing mission-critical IT environments for our customers.
  • Our 90,000+ thousand skilled professionals are proven in helping power vital technology systems across essential industries.
  • We are already empowering thousands of customers – including 75% of the Fortune 100 – to achieve their goals.
  • And we provide undisputed technology leadership in the market

How Conversational AI Can Enhance Customer Experience

Introduction

Any consumer-facing business centrepiece is the customer experience. Chatbots and virtual assistants have helped businesses enhance their Client Experience by making them more accessible and contactable, 24/7. Customers appreciate and even demand this availability, but organizations can employ Conversational AI for more than just availability.

The Customer Experience (CX) isn’t only about answering questions and interacting with consumers. A great deal of data has to be communicated and made consistent across various channels and brand-facing touchpoints. Deploying conversational AI chatbots is a typical approach for meeting all of the above-mentioned objectives.

Natural language processing (NLP), Automated Voice Recognition (ASR), Enhanced Dialogue Management, and Machine Learning (ML) are all transforming how people connect to and communicate with technology. Conversational AI and related technologies allow people to converse with robots in the same way they converse.

According to a survey published by Markets and Markets, the worldwide conversational AI industry is predicted to increase from $4.2 billion in 2019 to $15.7 billion by 2024. Over the past decade, AI has progressed to the point that apps may persuade people that they are conversing with another human or the Turing Test. Conversational AI is significant not just because of the “human” level of interactions but also because of the AI app’s capacity to make informed judgments based on the actionable insights it has garnered from data.

Enhancing Customer Experience with conversational AI.

Conversational AI and chatbots have been deployed by many companies as part of a business plan to enhance the customer experience.

HDFC Bank is arguably one of the first pioneers in the current banking scene, with a 25-year track record. HDFC Bank unveiled EVA, a chatbot that can answer client questions through the website, mobile app, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and WhatsApp, to aid with round-the-clock customer support. EVA can handle 8,000 intents with over 85% accuracy after training using information from a static knowledge store. HDFC Bank’s EVA answers around 300,000 inquiries from people in 19 countries every day.

Conversational AI Enables Hyper-Personalization

Whether deployed as chatbots, speech bots, or intelligent self-help systems, conversational AI may take customized customer care to new heights by using the whole spectrum of contact center channels, including voice, messaging, chat, push notifications, and SMS. Consider a banking app that learns your routines and promises to take care of your everyday transactions. Alternatively, you might use a chatbot to get a tailored interest rate while browsing your bank’s website.

Furthermore, these AI-enhanced platforms, as well as real time decision-making and predictive analysis, enable them to take the “next best” step for each consumer based on the present interaction, purchase and browsing history, previous customer service questions, and demographics.

Conclusion

These technologies assist in extending business-customer relationships in new ways, but they are not intended to replace human-to-human engagement. They allow clients to contact a company anytime they need to, utilizing the same conversational technique whether they’re interacting with a human agent, an AI, or a hybrid of the two, in which workers and AI agents pass the service call off at separate moments. Customers will always expect less friction, more convenience, and quicker resolutions—and now is the moment for organizations to remain ahead of the curve by investigating what conversational AI can achieve.

Top Digital Transformation Trends that Will Define Business Value In 2022

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on businesses, pushing them to rethink how they work, trade, and communicate. According to an IBM study, COVID-19 caused 60% of firms to accelerate their digital technology investments, and more than half (55%) permanently changed their organisational strategy.

Companies must have a solid technological foundation and rethink how they manage their resources, infrastructure, and people. They must address crucial metrics that were neglected, de-prioritized, or disregarded during COVID-19’s early days of adaptation.

The top Digital Transformation Trends that will define business value in 2022 :

1. Businesses will rely more on connected Cloud Solutions

    With the continued growth of the cloud, the number of enterprises using it will only grow. This is seen by the continual increase in sales of cloud management software. This expansion has various implications. One of them is that the cloud will be scrutinised more closely. Businesses will understand that relying only on one cloud provider is not a good idea.

    Many large companies now provide both private and public clouds as part of their services. Amazon Web Service (AWS), Microsoft Azure, IBM, Google, and Alibaba are the top five providers.

    Unsurprisingly, the majority of them provide methods to benefit from multi-cloud architecture, either directly or indirectly. Multicloud Manager is IBM’s offering, Anthos is Google’s, and Alibaba Cloud includes a number of tools to help with multi-cloud administration. Azure and AWS, on the other hand, provide customers with virtual machines via which they may link cloud services to their desktops.

    2. Increased investing in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

    Every day, businesses generate a deluge of data, and numerous experts constantly extol its value. However, there are reports that we barely utilise 1% of the data available to us. Despite the fact that there is a lot of decent data analytics software on the market, this is the case.

    Digital leaders are also encouraged to spend more on this trend as processing capacity improves. The current adoption rate of AI for data processing is also promising. If it keeps at its current pace, the above-mentioned 1% data use might climb to almost 3% by 2020.

    3. The use of Security-by-default will be essential.

    Concerns about security have long been a stumbling hurdle for digital endeavours. Security issues are impeding the pace of innovation, according to 87% of IT and business executives, while 73% believe particular security and governance problems have worsened as their systems have gotten more linked.

    Application programming interface (API) assaults will become the most common attack vector for business online applications by 2022, according to Gartner. This will force businesses to use better security tools.

    4.Companies must accept the Emergence of Hybrid Ecosystems.

    The capacity to create seamless digital experiences for both workers and consumers is critical to the success of contemporary businesses, according to IT and business professionals. As businesses seek solutions to this topic, universal API management will become more prominent in 2022.

    Many firms were able to handle the obstacles that the pandemic posed because of cloud technology. They have, however, significantly increased the complexity of today’s digital ecosystems. Currently, 92% of businesses have a multi-cloud strategy in place, with 82% having a hybrid cloud configuration.

    Conclusion

    The majority of firms began their digital transformation journeys before 2021, yet this year has undoubtedly altered the direction of several initiatives. With more than half of businesses accelerating their digital transformation initiatives, these digital innovations and trends are only expected to rise in the year 2022.

    How to achive Long-Term Success with Digital Transformation

    As Digital Transformation is significantly reshaping the enterprise, many companies are pursuing a large-scale change to gain digital inclusion advantages or stay up with the competition. According to a recent International Data Corporation poll, direct investment in digital transformation is expected to surpass USD 6.8 trillion between 2020 and 2023. The Pandemic has also shed light on how digital transformation may help businesses respond more swiftly to changing market conditions while maintaining operational stability.

    Executives are now under pressure to prioritize digital business transformation that addresses immediate demands while also laying the groundwork for future innovation and competitive advantage. Changes in processes and infrastructure, such as moving workloads to the cloud, installing AI throughout the company and re-evaluating how, where, and by whom work is done, may be required. This may include changing network capabilities and establishing edge computing equipment for some.

    Digital transformation’s role in Enhancing Organizational Resilience

    The organization’s resilience can be known by the way with which it observes, adjusts to, and recovers from a crisis. Businesses’ perceptions increase as a result of digital transformation. Furthermore, because of its capacity to quickly capture changes in the internal and external environments, digital technology may be employed as part of the transformation process.

    Organizations may also use digital technology to instantly connect internal and external sources of information, enhance the scope and depth of their knowledge, speed up decision-making, and radically cut reaction times. By embedding AI algorithms in intelligent products and services, businesses may implement automated algorithmic judgments. In addition, an organization’s capacity to recognize, integrate, coordinate, and reconstruct itself increases when it is digitally transformed.

    Take the “virtual first” approach.

    Executives may enable the future of virtual corporate infrastructure through intelligent digital transformation. Leaders may evaluate where physicality could become optional and which technologies and cyber tactics are required to support a primarily digital workplace and workforce by taking a virtual-first approach. Both may have implications for how organizations acquire, manage, and engage talent in a post-pandemic environment and how management practices that match with a business strategy might support a virtual-first culture.

    Enabling the Cloud provides agility and extensibility

    Cloud capabilities assist companies in moving at the pace of their markets and acting as an expandable business platform in today’s volatile environment. Digital transformation brings an organization up to date with current technologies and makes it simpler to add new capabilities to its tech stack.

    Automate decision-making

    Organizations may use AI/ML technology to set thresholds to indicate when a specific input needs human intervention, while the remainder can be automated. In addition, businesses may access additional AI capabilities in the cloud and use them to enhance customer management and product innovation, and workforces can become more comfortable with a degree of automated efficiency. Customer modelling, for example, is now included in leading customer relationship management products to anticipate and identify individuals who are most likely to depart.

    Conclusion

    A business becoming successful is a process, and digital transformation can help you accomplish it. Enterprises have to seek ways to connect the existing and future worlds. You may, for example, pivot more rapidly and adapt more effectively by updating your services, processes, and infrastructure running and reforming at the same time. That’s what we’re talking about when it comes to digital transformation.

    Role of Organizational Culture in Digital Transformation.

    In this Digital age, the Human-Machine interface is indispensable for future organizational success. The pandemic has also prompted many new reforms, like the introduction of sophisticated digital tools and technology. However, a company’s focus is frequently technological, with little attention paid to Digitalization’s human and cultural aspects.

    A thorough look at businesses undergoing Digital Transformation indicates that people and culture aspects receive significantly less attention than the systems and technology that underpin the transformation. Companies cannot accomplish a positive employee experience only through a monthly paycheck. Building and facilitating a digital culture at every step of the employment lifecycle to improve employee experience is vital. Employees are the company’s most valuable asset, and any transformation, whether digital or otherwise, should always begin with the employees’ culture.

    The need for a positive Employee Experience

    The way businesses function and build value is fast changing as a result of digitalization. The rise of technology-driven business models, on the other hand, is forcing existing companies to rethink and reinvent themselves.

    According to a 2017 McKinsey report, corporate culture gaps are one of the most critical hurdles to accomplishing digital transformation goals. Risk aversion, poor customer-centricity, and siloed corporate divisions and operations mindsets were all critical cultural components. To stay competitive, most organizations fail to bridge the gap between knowing what is required and doing what is necessary to connect developing technologies with new processes and capabilities. This puts the organization’s operational strategy and the talent it recruits and keeps in jeopardy.

    “Companies are going through a digital transformation, and a big part of digital transformation is how you transform your workforce—the biggest asset most companies have,” says Shankar Iyer, senior vice president and general manager of VMware End-User Computing (EUC).

    Working towards improving employee experience

    According to a 2018 research conducted by Tata Communications in partnership with Prof. Goldberg of UC Berkeley, AI can improve collective intelligence and intellectual variety, allowing human workers to think more creatively and efficiently.

    Cognitive diversity—differences in how we perceive, understand, reason, and solve problems—is vital in humans; the more different the individuals, the more significant the potential to uncover new ideas and techniques. As a result, digitization would not be able to replace human intervention altogether. Instead, humans would need to interface more effectively

    with AI to produce new solutions since critical thinking talents, and the need to master and fully exploit technology would now be more in demand.

    The fear of failure

    Fear of failure is one of the significant cultural barriers to Digitalization. Employees sometimes find it challenging to let rid of practices that have helped them succeed in the past because they are focused on and worried about how they are measured. Because there is little incentive to adapt and embrace new functioning methods, reward systems that emphasize individual objectives may become barriers to relinquishing control.

    While CEOs are under pressure to initiate transformation initiatives, such as deploying new and more sophisticated technologies under tight budgets, they recognize that leading digital transformation requires them to look beyond technical prowess to create a robust and agile culture and organization. Organizations and leaders must make strenuous efforts in their communications to promote learning and prepare people for the future.

    Cloud Adoption by Businesses and Enterprise.

    Since the past decade, cloud services have globally risen over each year with a valuation of around $400 billion in the past year itself. The fact that excessive creation and use is everywhere invites the necessity of surplus data storage. Furthermore, with more inventories and repositories for data storage, physical storage has become obsolete, opening doors for cloud storage for all corporate and non-corporate data. Thus, data being an inevitable factor for corporate accounts to demand cloud adoption frameworks in 2021.

    Cloud Adoption by Businesses and Enterprises

    The cloud has been the most efficient and effective data storage solution compared to any individual storage platforms. They are ideal for data generation, creating innovative solutions, data operations, and enhanced scalability cloud solutions have expanded globally, allowing enterprises and organizations to develop innovative business processes that align with their business competencies instead of spending on IT infrastructure that usually gets redundant after a certain point in time.

    The mid-year in 2020 created opportunities for more cloud-based solutions because of the remote work facilities. With uncertainties because of the pandemic situation around, it pushed organizations to switch to cloud adoption frameworks and cloud technologies as a part of their business continuity plan in 2021. As a result, more and more businesses migrated to cloud-based frameworks and solutions to provide a remote work environment for their clients and employees. Within no time, the cloud has become an inevitable part of the business continuity plan in 2021. It is soon going to be a notable factor for organization growth in coming years. It will be no surprise that cloud services will grow around 20% in the next quarter of 2021 as per some forecasts.

    Pros and Cons of Cloud-based service models to Business Continuity Plan in 2021

    ConsPros
    Casual downtime and failures in data centersAlways up
    Need updates about cloud providers and their processes of data backupAutomatic and secured backups
    Get clarity on understanding security and backup processes and plansNo need to install and manage cloud services onsite
    Cloud security is not trusted by most professionals and cybersecurity organizationsDedicated security experts for monitoring and safeguarding setup 24/7
    Need to invest more in personnel, resources, and other environmental assetsPurchase on the go

    Cloud Benefits

    Cloud offers secure, error-free, and timely data backup and recovery with less human intervention. While the traditional recovery platforms often consume hours and days for data migration and recovery from on-premise data storage or servers to drives.
    Here is a look at the undeniable role cloud plays in business continuity:

    • Reduced downtime
    • Reduced recovery time
    • Offers better network management.
    • Enhanced information security management
    • Offers regular backup.
    • Offers plans for every business need with improved security and maintenance. 
    • Eliminates the time to visit onsite premises in emergencies or uncertain conditions
    • Summing it all, cloud adoption is the present and the future.
    • To stay steady and secured with your data, it is high time that businesses should switch to the cloud if not done already.

    5 Trends that Businesses Cannot Ignore

    The future of work demands our attention as the COVID-19 pandemic shook things up in the workplace Environment. The present and the future of the digital workforce is likely to see experiments in work models given the focus on digital talent and the on-demand workforce.

    Against this backdrop of disruption and change, businesses will have to adopt these latest five trends as this will be the critical acceleration for transformation that they cannot ignore.

    1. Bring your own environment into the Remote Workforce

    The tremendous setback of recent times has led businesses to exponentially shifting towards a remote workforce . Not only has it sustained business continuity, but thereby it has given employees the flexibility and accessibility to be productive all the time. Bring-Your-Own-Environment gives employees the freedom to be reliant on the remote working system. To monitor productivity and ensure employee emotional well-being, businesses should see through the lens of human-centricity and drive a better employee experience.

    The tremendous setback of recent times has led businesses to exponentially shifting towards a remote workforce . Not only has it sustained business continuity, but thereby it has given employees the flexibility and accessibility to be productive all the time. Bring-Your-Own-Environment gives employees the freedom to be reliant on the remote working system. To monitor productivity and ensure employee emotional well-being, businesses should see through the lens of human-centricity and drive a better employee experience.

    2. Adopting Automation

    Automation tools help to automate management activities and measure performance. Automation augments the efforts of the workforce to drive productivity and in fact, even facilitation creation of new job positions. The menial, routine nature of operations is efficiently handled through automated processes without errors. Likewise, employees are adjudged based on specific KPIs and assessed without bias through automated checks and triggers, reducing manual intervention.

    3. The Future of Work is Hybrid.

    The future of the workforce will have a hybrid/ blended workplace model to maintain mobility. The hybrid workplace model combines both remote and office work together, giving employees the flexibility to work in both environments. What the model does is, give employees access to complete individual tasks and yet use the office for collaborative tasks with peers and groups, making it the best of both worlds. Organizations will most adopt a hybrid work environment to support the needs of both the employer and employees.

    4. Cloud Computing Will Bond with Facilities and Operations

    The future of the workspace will be aligned with cloud computing as one of the biggest Digital workplace trends. Cloud computing has enabled businesses to stop investing in costly infrastructure that could turn out redundant in some years. Instead, businesses can already implement cloud computing in the workplace, with their data stored in secured cloud silos , helping authenticated users to access information on the go, anytime, featuring improved cloud security too.

    5. Creating a compelling Employee Experience

    When employees work remotely, you need to showcase periodic feedback and training to keep them motivated. Employee and service management tools can allow employees to access data and respond quickly to departments and evaluations. Companies can host training and development workshops and modules to train employees at their own pace. Employees can use social media systems to voice their ideas and opinions related to tasks and operations, ensuring a transparent workplace.

    Conclusion

    The workplace is now witnessing improved productivity, flexibility, cost management, and resource management. By choosing these digital workplace trends, businesses have become more resilient and flexible to turn insight into action and produce useful outcomes. This new working model could serve as a blueprint for the long-term and will surely be the new norm for many businesses in the foreseeable future.