Moving Beyond Data Basics to Data-Driven Transformation



Companies know it’s time to get their data management house in order, yet they are still struggling with basic visibility, quality, and governance issues. We spoke with Nicolas Sekkaki, Global Practice leader for Application, Data and AI Services at Kyndryl, to understand why companies are still struggling with data management 101.

Q: There’s a lot of industry talk about data-driven business and AI-enabled insights, but most companies are just scratching the surface. What is holding companies back?

A: Organizations are suffering from too much data and too little data at the same time, when what we really need is good data at the right time. There are many hurdles on the journey, the first being data silos. The second is a hybrid environment where … data is distributed, diverse, and dynamic. The organization is surrounded and overwhelmed by data but doesn’t know where it is … and it’s hard to process seamlessly.

Q: What’s stopping companies from making progress on that front?

A: Moving to the cloud is one way to decouple the infrastructure from the applications. Now we’re adding another layer of complexity, which is decoupling the data from the applications, and it’s a lot to handle at the same time. As in any innovative landscape, people are testing but are missing a standard fit-for-purpose framework as well as best practices and governance processes. We also have scarcity of talent resources who understand the strategy, framework, fabric, and tooling around data.

Q: Change at this scale is a tall order, and many internal IT organizations haven’t been able to keep up. How can a services partner help, and what specifically does Kyndryl bring to the table?

A: Service providers are essential to helping customers accelerate the journey to becoming a data-driven organization. You have to have a data strategy that charts a course from where you are to where you want to go. You need to modernize the data ecosystem with a data fabric that does so at scale. Kyndryl has the full stack: the framework, data fabric, modernization capabilities, data platform, and ability to manage the whole thing.

Kyndryl has created intellectual property around data assets with a unified console that provides an end-to-end view of data — a capability that has been missing in the marketplace. Kyndryl also has a wide ecosystem of partners … and knowledge of best-of-breed tooling to help customers on their journey.

Q: What cultural hurdles do you see impeding progress, and how can companies address them?

A: The first step is recognition that data is a critical asset that has to be protected and developed. This isn’t an IT statement or a data officer statement — it’s a CEO statement that the organization needs to be data-driven. Today everyone has their own set of data and KPIs, but if we really want to have knowledge and harvest the value of insights, we need to create a culture of sharing data and making it accessible to others. This is the biggest change. It’s about changing the way we operate completely and thinking across the company. It’s about the culture of human beings and how we work together to make things better.

Learn more about Kyndryl Data and AI Services.