17 May 2024

Accelerating public sector transformation with mainframe modernisation - a blog written by Kyndryl

Modernising mainframe IT systems can be a complex and challenging process, but it’s also an essential task for organisations that need to meet ambitious efficiency, growth, or sustainability goals.

Nowhere is that truer than in the public sector and associated businesses. Not only is it an area where public value for money is an absolute imperative, and where resilient and accessible services underpin much else of what needs to happen in a society – it’s also an area where legacy systems currenty account for more than 80% of government IT spending.

That makes delivering progress on their transformation journey a key objective for departments evolving to meet needs in an increasingly hybrid cloud world. It would be an oversimplification, however, to suggest that every public body’s journey is following a similar path in this regard: the truth is that, with a real diversity in both the current infrastructure at play and the needs of customers at different points of public service interaction, there are many different forms of modernisation at play. Finding a robust, effective strategy demands real expertise.


Public sector modernisation in action

Over the past few years, Kyndryl has successfully tendered for a number of high-profile and complex public and private sector mainframe projects.

Some of this work is about ensuring that highly valuable existing services operate without interruption for end users that rely on them. For example, Kyndryl is equipping the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) with managed mainframe services on Kyndryl’s zCloud. With the rising demand for digitalisation and seamless customer service, DVLA has an ongoing program to modernise its existing systems. Continuity of mainframe services during this transformation will be critical to its success, and achieved by harnessing Kyndryl’s mainframe modernisation capabilities.

Some services require journey planning and execution towards more holistic migration, as with Kyndryl’s work managing critical mainframe services for His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Here, Kyndryl Consult undertook discovery work to prepare for the migration from Fujitsu’s legacy on-premise data centre, towards Kyndryl’s Core Enterprise and zCloud services. This was alongside consultation on how best to deliver secure, compliant, and resilient mainframe modernisation services.

And in other cases, the right destination is to tap into the commercial flexibility of public cloud operations. For BT Group, Kyndryl is leading a cutting-edge program to move a

number of the business’s mainframe applications from legacy datacentres to the public cloud. The unique project draws on Kyndryl’s cloud capabilities and partner ecosystem, and supports BT’s Digital unit in moving critical legacy applications to the cloud. The ten year partnership will reduce mainframe operating costs and energy consumption by 70%, leading to savings worth more than £17m a year by 2026.


The tools and knowledge for change

With this kind of diversity of needs at hand – often even within departments, never mind across the public sector as a whole – organisations need to be able to tap into the widest possible network of potential technologies and solutions, while also making sure that those options are applied with real expertise in terms of what makes the public sector different.

Kyndryl recently expanded its relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help customers simplify and accelerate their mainframe modernisation initiatives. We also launched tailored capabilities to automate the provisioning and management of AWS mainframe modernisation environments and help customers optimise deployments.

These new capabilities seamlessly integrate mainframe applications, data and operations with AWS technologies, helping to run alongside or to move workloads to AWS. Kyndryl can provide an end-to-end mainframe transformation factory and seamless hybrid estate management for customers. Additionally, we’re enabling the integration of AWS environments with Kyndryl Bridge, our open integration platform, for enhanced operational insights.

This builds on the momentum Kyndryl already have via our partner alliances. In 2022, we teamed up with Microsoft to deliver cloud-based insights and innovation for mainframe customers. We jointly created IT solutions to further exploit mainframe data with the Microsoft Power Platform, making it easier for customers to increase access to valuable mainframe data and move the data to the cloud. This way, customers can unlock new uses and value streams from their entire data estate, and take advantage of machine learning, AI and analytics by having a holistic view of their data in a low code/no code programming environment.

Ultimately, the public sector must transform and update their traditional IT platforms and operating models if they are to be cost-efficient, and serve citizens effectively. The value for money case to be made is significant, and the consultancy McKinsey has suggested that global public sector digital modernisation could deliver annual global savings of $1T.

Perhaps just as important, though, is the value of upholding and strengthening public trust and engagement, with mainframe modernisation delivering real quality of life benefits for end-users and so improving public perceptions of departments and organisations more broadly.

The benefits for public sector digital transformation cannot be ignored. The time for modernisation is now.


Register your interest to attend Kyndryl's sponsored virtual roundtable on 12 June:

The public sector journey from mainframe to modernisation - sponsored virtual roundtable by Kyndryl

Find out more