The Digital Unit of the BT Group is collaborating with Kyndryl on a “ground-breaking” effort to migrate to the cloud a number of the Group’s mainframe programs that support its legacy copper commercial and consumer broadband offerings. With the help of this challenging project, the Digital unit would be able to manage its copper broadband infrastructure in a contemporary manner by moving crucial legacy programs to the cloud that cannot be temporarily shut down.
By reducing mainframe running costs and energy usage “by 70%” over the course of the ten-year agreement, which makes use of Kyndryl’s hyperscaler capabilities and partner ecosystem, BT Group will save more than £17 million (nearly $21 million) annually by 2026, according to BT Group and Kyndryl.
“We like thinking out of the box to solve complex problems – like how to move off mainframes given the prohibitive increase in legacy infrastructure cost – without rewriting decades-old applications,” said Harmeen Mehta, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at BT Group. “With that mindset, working with Kyndryl, we figured out how to turn legacy mainframes into modern digital apps and run them at a fraction of the cost.”
Micro-Services Led, Cloud-Centric
By extending their collaboration with BT Group, Kyndryl, which now manages the mainframe estate of the BT Group, will undertake the transformation project by 2026, speeding the push to cut costs and open up data insights inside these crucial applications. Some applications are being ‘retired’ as part of the project, helping BT Group reach its goal of having fewer than 500 strategic systems by 2027 while also streamlining its technology estate, ‘refactored’ (redeveloped into the existing strategic systems and architecture of the BT Group), or ‘rehosted’ (repackaged to operate in a cloud environment).
Application programming interface (API) and micro-services capabilities will be built as a result of the move to the cloud to better integrate the value of data across larger BT Group systems, accelerate innovation through automation, and save costs. Applications will be integrated with the service management platform of the BT Group and enable the ‘AIOps’ self-healing IT estate model, lowering the possibility of downtime and expediting and automating fixes. As the old copper networks are phased out over the next years, it would improve the ability of other programs to access the data and capabilities found in mainframe systems, resulting in more seamless customer experiences.
“It’s exciting to be partnering with BT Group on such an ambitious and critical program,” said Petra Goude, Global Practice Leader, Core Enterprise & zCloud, Kyndryl. “Migrating from mainframes to cloud extends the usefulness and lifespan of these applications in a modern, micro-services led, cloud-centric way and helps unlock intelligent data insights. We’re excited to draw on our deep knowledge, ecosystem of partners and community of industry leading experts to help deliver this transformation.”
Kyndryl is a relatively new company, a spin-off created by IBM in 2021. It was formed with the goal of providing enterprise technology services to businesses, with a focus on cloud computing, data and AI, and cybersecurity. Kyndryl aims to help organizations modernize their technology infrastructure and enable them to take advantage of the latest advancements in these areas. The company is staffed by a team of experienced technologists and business leaders, and it provides a range of services and solutions to help organizations achieve their goals.