Illustration for the article entitled: Why Jacobs is building a Digital & Data Hub in Krakow
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Why Jacobs is building a Digital & Data Hub in Krakow

Many of the world’s most recognized companies have built hubs in Krakow over the years. These multinational companies include Dyson, Heineken, Shell, HSBC, State Street, IBM, and many others. Poland is a nearshoring hub for many of these companies. Recent challenges in the tech sector have caused turbulence across markets including Poland. However there are some companies that are continuing to invest in Poland during these times of change. One of them is Jacobs. Today we bring you a story about why Jacobs is building a Digital & Data Hub in Krakow.

More than twenty years ago a company called CH2M entered the Polish market. The company became a significant brand within the engineering sector. It added $9.6 billion annual U.S. – Poland trade and economic change in 2017. That same year Jacobs Engineering (or Jacobs today) completed the acquisition of CH2M. This included a small hub that supported the CH2M European market as well as for the Middle East and North Africa as a ‘shared service centre’. Over the years the shared services team has added software teams and grown to more than 2,700 employees. More importantly, today, the Krakow location has been chosen as the place to build a new Digital & Data Hub.

At Jacobs they are ‘challenging today to reinvent tomorrow’, and as part of this strategy they have appointed a person who is used to challenging. Ewelina Usarek-Nowak, Head of Digital & Data Solutions Poland joined the Jacobs Digital & Data Hub in February this year. She has been working as a tech person for many years. Ewelina met with our editorial team at the Jacobs office in Krakow on a sunny spring day.

The newly established hub will extend its focus on an array of domains, namely, Consumer and Manufacturing, Defence and Security, Energy and Utilities, Financial Services, Government and Public Services, Health and Life Sciences, and Transport. By concentrating on these diverse areas, Jacobs aims to create a comprehensive data and digital ecosystem that caters to a broad spectrum of industries, thereby contributing significantly to their growth and innovation.

The office was buzzing as we sat down with Ewelina. It felt appropriate that the sun was blazing in through the window as we started to talk about the creation of the new hub in Krakow.

“Opening a Digital & Data Hub in Kraków is a significant milestone in the company’s efforts towards fostering a sustainable future through digital transformation. Our focus is to accelerate Jacobs’ digital vision by expanding capabilities and providing new and high-value digital consulting services for our clients, including product development and innovations.,” Ewelina shared about the new hub.

What makes Jacobs Digital & Data Hub in Krakow different?

Ewelina explained some of the reasons that she had joined the Jacobs Digital & Data Hub. There were more than one might think. From smart cities to a promise to be carbon neutral by 2040 and even Jacobs’ involvement with a deep space program. Ewelina shared a little bit about all of them.

The acquisition of StreetLight by Jacobs in 2022 is one of the areas where data and machine learning are used to solve complex transportation problems. The metrics that StreetLight InSight produces help transportation agencies and consulting firms make better decisions, enriching available data sources and filling key data gaps to gain unique insights. From pinpointing where to deploy EV chargers to meet new demand, to identifying road safety hotspots and solutions, to diagnosing the infrastructure needed to boost equitable access. The acquisition highlights how Jacobs is using data solutions that support the transition to a decarbonized future. Something that is very important within the culture and the employees of the company, Ewelina highlighted.

Another thing that Ewelina was keen to share was how the new team would also be encouraged by the range of projects. And not only. There is also a need for more innovators who can help Jacobs use artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve internal processes. Ewelina highlighted how the hub would become the ‘go-to’ place for leaders across the business who need more digital or data support. This could be to help one of the many consulting projects from locations as diverse as Australia or Canada.

Why Jacobs is More Than Just Engineering

Jacobs Digital & Data Hub is looking for IT specialists like software engineers, data & cloud engineers, DevOps, full-stack developers, and many others. What is interesting, Ewelina explained, is how Jacobs is known as an engineering company. But what the company’s railways or highways engineers do is not the engineering that they need in the new hub.

“We already had a great engineering tradition,” Ewelina explained. Rather than construction and engineering as Jacobs has stood for in the past, the company is building on new foundations. Engineering remains at the heart of everything they do at Jacobs, but today there are additionally three business accelerators at Jacobs. They underpin Jacobs’ strategy. They are data-driven solutions, climate response, and consultancy and advisory.

To enforce the strategy, Jacobs has reduced its carbon emission by 45% since 2019. The company has made a pledge that every project becomes a climate response opportunity.   

“Airports, smart cities, governmental facilities,” Ewelina added. “Projects include anything we are currently using digital data for.” And projects that help lower our carbon footprint.

Additionally Ewelina shared how “we will be looking for people to go into projects where we are already using artificial intelligence. There will be a wide spectrum of projects to work on. Not only product building or supporting consultancy clients. But innovating for internal stakeholders too.”

How They do it at Jacobs Digital & Data Hub in Krakow

Ewelina discussed the importance of Krakow within the wider company. It’s not by chance that Jacobs has decided to build a Digital & Data Hub in Krakow.

Krakow is producing more and more technology-focussed graduates onto the market, Ewelina believes. This is easy to confirm when one considers new hubs being opened by Heineken and others in Krakow today.

There are opportunities to learn new things at Jacobs Data & Digital Hub. To experience working with other cultures and experience new perspectives. Another important thing for potential candidates might be that Jacobs has a policy where employees can work from the office for six days per month. This encourages employees to have the time they want to work from home. For those who are more sociable the office was still buzzing as we made our way back to the reception area. It looked like there was a lot to celebrate, or a lot of knowledge to be shared, at Jacobs this April.

Ewelina is looking for Data Engineers, Data Scientists. AWS Data Engineers, DevOps Engineers, Full-Stack Developers, and other Software Developers today. The full list can be found on the Jacobs website here.

Why not consider the chance to join a company that is completely aligned with all things carbon neutral? A company that is helping build the world of tomorrow.

Author: Andy Samu

#OurJacobs #JacobsFamily #Data #Krakow #CarbonNeutral #Digital

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