Kyndryl is IBM’s wacky new name for its dry IT spinoff

Meet Kyndryl — which, despite the name, is not a new legendary pokémon or a futuristic fake pharmaceutical from Cyberpunk 2077. No, Kyndryl is the new name for IBM’s legacy IT infrastructure business, which the company is spinning off into a new company to allow the main company to focus on its newer (and more lucrative) areas of emphasis, like AI and cloud services.

I’ll let IBM’s press release explain:

”Kyn” is derived from the word kinship, referencing the belief that relationships with people — employees, customers and partners — are at the center of the strategy, and that long-lasting relationships must be built and nurtured. “Dryl” comes from tendril, bringing to mind new growth and the idea that — together with customers and partners — the business is always working toward advancing human progress.

“Kinship” and “tendrils” — two of the first words that come to mind when one considers managed infrastructure services. Except, of course, with extra y’s added, “y” presumably being the letter that most conveys “the spirit of true partnership and growth” for which Kyndryl’s corporate IT setups stand.

In reality, it feels like the wholly bizarre branding is meant to be SEO bait. “NewCo” — the original placeholder for the branch of the company that is now known as Kyndryl — is the sort of name that fades into the background, while Kyndryl, bizarre as it may be, is at no danger of being confused or lost in a sea of similar Google results (mostly because there are none).

“Customers around the world will come to know Kyndryl as a brand that runs the vital systems at the heart of progress,” said Martin Schroeter, Kyndryl’s CEO. And with a name as… unique as the one selected here, he’s probably correct.

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