Jason Jackson is recognized for his thought leadership and innovation with mission critical solutions for the Industrial sector. Jason created and delivered a first-of-a-kind cross-brand solution using 4G/5G private cellular, edge computing and security services for Kyndryl customers. He was selected to be part of the inaugural class of Kyndryl Distinguished Engineers, leading innovators who are shaping the future of Kyndryl and driving change in the industry.
As a Distinguished Engineer, you’re being recognized for your technological knowledge and capabilities, but you notably didn’t get your start in technology.
I’ve worked in the industrial sector for over 27 years, and in roles ranging from operations, architecture, strategy, and major program delivery. But my career began sitting on the other side of the desk, so-to-speak, within the chemical and petroleum industries. I was at Halliburton for eight years, and at BP for 13 years. About seven years ago I moved to Kyndryl and learned very quickly that sitting on the supply side of the desk was a completely different world. The path I took was fundamental to how I strive to really understand and empathize with the challenges our customers face, to internalize their needs based on my own experiences, from when I was in their shoes.
In your time at Kyndryl, what are you proudest about?
The delivery and subsequent operation of a Leeds Platinum certified data center has to be one of my proudest achievements. At the time, it was the first of its kind, and it became the benchmark for data centers moving forward. It really showed that we could be leaders, and good stewards of the environment, while meeting customer needs.
How does being at Kyndryl impact the way you’re able to do your work?
The best way I can describe my work at Kyndryl is I am given the freedom to engineer, design, integrate, build, and deliver — with zero supplier boundaries — the best of the best solutions that meet and often exceed our customer’s strategic objectives. That sort of freedom doesn’t exist in every IT services firm, and it’s attributable to how we prioritize being a flat company that is intensely focused on finding solutions for customers in a fast, strategic way.
How did you find your way into this work?
My IT career started out in the basement, literally. I had every job a person could have in 1995 in the IT space, including working the help desk, automation, systems management, and engineering. Then I got to BP and started going off on international assignments. It was on those assignments that I was given a remit to do specific business-unit-level activities. I've been to about every chemical plant in Europe, and in many across Asia. I got to know the plant managers very well. It’s during those experiences that you can learn a lot about culture; you learn a lot about working with people and bridging the divide of understanding and simplifying technology.
You’ve got such a rich history of being immersed in your work.
It’s been great. I've always been the kind of person that asks lots of questions, and those questions have led me to a lot of neat places.
What gets you most excited about your future work at Kyndryl?
I’m very eager to grow our key alliances with partners such as Microsoft and Nokia, and using next-generation technologies at the edge — things like drones, robotics, and video analytics —at scale. These are incredibly promising technologies that will drive digital business outcomes that customers can use to achieve their goals.
When I think about what makes this place really interesting, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘freedom of thought.’ Simply put, you’ve got an environment here where you’re allowed the creative freedom to design solutions and answer customer problems in a flatter organization. That directly correlates to navigating less politics, getting more client engagement, and really digging into stretch assignments that are all about solving problems and, in the end, playing a real role in helping the global economy run a little more smoothly.
How did being named a Distinguished Engineer at Kyndryl make you feel?
I was speechless when I learned I’d been selected. There are a lot of very talented people at Kyndryl, so it was really a shock. In the end, for me, getting this high honor is the culmination of all the small accomplishments and experiences I’ve had over the years — it was never one big flashy win. It’s proof that it’s important to be curious, it’s important to listen, and it’s important to learn from your missteps and use every opportunity to hone your skills and better yourself.