“This new centre is about building capability and building bilingual skills because the federal government is a very large client of ours,” Cooper, a 20-year-IBM veteran, said in an interview. “We’re going to be hiring from different demographics and partnering with universities to bring in young talent that we can train and develop.”
About 150 people already work for Kyndryl’s Montreal cloud centre, Cooper said. The company is looking to add information technology professionals with skills in cloud computing, cyber, artificial intelligence and development operations, he said.
“Our clients need the cloud architectural skills,” said Cooper. “Managing all of the systems, helping to secure those systems and helping to transform them, especially with the cloud — that’s basically our business.”
Kyndryl’s expansion drive comes as Quebec grapples with an unprecedented workforce scarcity , especially in information technology. Half of all IT professions currently face labour shortages, a trend that is likely to stretch into 2023, according to Emploi Québec projections.
Despite the ultra-competitive marketplace, Cooper is unfazed.
“We’re the largest IT service provider in this country, and that in itself is attracting a lot of talent,” he said. “Our employees like the scale. They like the fact they can be working on very complex programs. When they work for our firm, people have a chance to work on multiple industries and multiple technologies. You get a chance to build your skills.”
Kyndryl’s cloud centre will be located “within a few blocks” of Place Ville Marie, where IBM recently moved its Montreal offices, Cooper said.
“Place Ville Marie was a good hub, so this is the vicinity that we’ll be looking at,” he said. “We’re very close to making a decision.”
In keeping with the times, Kyndryl plans to emphasize a flexible work structure , with a significant remote component.
“This location is not going to have 500 desks, not even close,” said Cooper. “That’s just not a need for our people. It’s going to be a collaboration space. People are very receptive to that model. Work used to be where you put your picture on your desk, but the workplace of the future is going to look a lot different. It’s going to be smaller. The No. 1 priority is where your clients are, and what you need to do to be able to support them.”