Kyndryl, formerly IBM\u2019s managed infrastructure services business, is now an independent company. On Nov. 4, 2021, it began trading independently on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker KD.\nAlthough there are still close ties between the two companies \u2014 IBM retains a 19.9% stake in Kyndryl, which will remain one of its largest customers \u2014 the separation is opening up new opportunities on both sides.\n\n[ Discover the latest IT outsourcing trends, the top IT outsourcing service providers, and the 11 keys to a successful outsourcing relationship. | Beware these common outsourcing myths, mistakes, and hidden costs | Sign up for our CIO newsletter. ]\n\nFor Kyndryl, those opportunities include addressing new business in markets such as intelligent automation, data services, cloud services, or security and resiliency. The company estimates that those new areas increase its total addressable market from $240 billion to $415 billion immediately after the split. Today, it\u2019s capturing a small fraction of that, with annual revenue of $19 billion.\nTechnology \u2014 in the form of the tools that Kyndryl creates and uses to deliver services to its customers \u2014 will play a big part in exploiting those opportunities, says Kyndryl CTO Antoine Shagoury.\nHe knows the company\u2019s capabilities well. A former CIO himself, most recently at State Street and before that at the London Stock Exchange, Shagoury was a customer of both legacy IBM and of what is now Kyndryl.\nHis first reaction when IBM approached him about the Kyndryl CTO position, he says, was, \u201cAre you asking me as a former client? You\u2019d better sit down and get a pen, because I have a lot of problems we\u2019re going to have to fix.\u201d That didn\u2019t put either party off: \u201cIt was one of those fun discussions, and it really became exciting to get exposed to the appetite to close the gap, and really start to position what Kyndryl is becoming now, this facilitator, this enabler of services.\u201d\n Kyndryl\n\nAntoine Shagoury, CTO, Kyndryl\n\n\nSome of the problems Shagoury wanted to fix related to what he calls \u201cthe environmental issues\u201d of what the managed infrastructure services business was targeted to do. \u201cIt had a lot of blinders on. It was very specific subsets of applications, very focused on IBM cloud,\u201d he says.\nThat part of IBM was as deeply embedded in its clients\u2019 organizations as the clients\u2019 own teams, he says. In that situation, \u201cIt becomes very limiting how you can help the client navigate the complexity around modernization, around digitization, and availability in the marketplace, around that changed paradigm.\u201d\nThose constraints are gone now, though, as Kyndryl creates its own way of working with customers.\nNaturally, customers will have concerns about Kyndryl\u2019s separation from IBM: Shagoury says that when he worked in banking, \u201cThis type of separation would have made everybody pause in the building.\u201d\nWhat CIOs are asking\nConcerns about continuity of service are top of mind for many Kyndryl customers, but there is no cause for concern, Shagoury says: Kyndryl and IBM are among each other\u2019s largest vendors and clients, and have committed to ensuring continuity of operations for their clients.\nSecond to worries about too much change are CIO concerns about whether there will be enough change: They want to know whether they will continue to see innovation under Kyndryl.\nOf course, they will, says Shagoury: \u201cWe are one of IBM\u2019s largest customers: We have direct access to the research results. If there\u2019s something that so unique to IBM, we can easily make sure that that\u2019s going to be a part of the discussion, the opportunity and the inclusion.\u201d\nKyndryl will also be an innovator in its own right, he says, starting out with 3,000 patents awarded, 800 pending, and more likely to be filed before year-end. \u201cWe are far more innovative than people think,\u201d he says. \u201cAlmost 40% of our patents are in AI. You wouldn\u2019t think about that for an infrastructure company.\u201d Those inventions won\u2019t just be put up for sale. \u201cWe actually want to use them for the client, for their modernization and transformation work.\u201d\nThe third big concern CIOs have raised about the split, he says, is whether they will still have access to the right partners. \u201cThey come with a list of who they want us to partner with,\u201d he says. \u201cEvery operating environment is different, and the recipe to help someone modernize or optimize their environment is never the same twice. You need to make sure you have the right partners at the table with you.\u201d\nKyndryl\u2019s new management have been educating people internally and externally about how they can help build the ecosystem partner environments that will help the company thrive, he says.\u00a0\nThe role of technology\nTechnology will play a key role in enabling the ecosystem, and Shagoury\u2019s role is at the heart of that. \u201cI run all the development, all of the architects, all of the research and the platforms themselves. So how we\u2019re delivering the tools and the services, as well as the strategic platforms, how we\u2019re going to deliver our services in a new way going forward in this ecosystem model,\u201d he says.\nHe wants to expose the technology that Kyndryl has inherited, and that it will build, so that its employees working in different industries, in different practices, are aware of what is available, and can see whether it is applicable to their work.\nMuch of that technology concerns automation. \u201cWe\u2019re doing over 9 million automation activities every month for clients,\u201d Shagoury says, including server lifecycle management, incident response and remediation, all the way down to asset and patch management services. Automation is creeping up the stack, he says, and now includes robotic process automation (RPA) services and programmatic automation services beyond that.\nThe managed infrastructure services business that is now Kyndryl has been collecting metadata about its operations. \u201cWe\u2019ve now created one of the world\u2019s largest operational data lakes around this metadata, so we now have AI components that are now feeding our client operations or automation tools, as well as our planning tools,\u201d he says.\nOpening up the ecosystem\nShagoury doesn\u2019t want the knowledge of those tools to stay buried within Kyndryl. \u201cThose tools are very rarely exposed to our partners and to our clients. And this becomes a huge opportunity for us,\u201d he says. \u201cNow we\u2019re exposing that to the client, saying, \u2018Hey, do you want to look at these tools yourself? Do you want to see how we can actually help you be a part of what we\u2019re working on, so you don\u2019t need all managed services?\u2019\u201d\nHis goal is to open up the possibility of customers choosing from a self-service menu of Kyndryl\u2019s capabilities, or of bringing partners deeper into the Kyndryl ecosystem.\n\u201cIf I came to you today, and we wanted to brainstorm on something, you\u2019re going to want to have everything on the table: \u2018What are the ingredients we have to work with? What\u2019s going to help me modernize faster, compete better, adopt technology in a more secure way for my business?\u2019 And that is the best recipe to engineer and design the right outcome for the client,\u201d he says.