With more than 30 years of industry experience, Ken Marr has vast knowledge of IT operations, software engineering, data management, and digital transformation initiatives, including the creation of an entire technical ecosystem and many software products, as well as advanced technology platforms.
Ken is currently the Chief Technology Officer for FNTS (CTO). He is a strategic and creative leader who works to create long-term technology strategies to make sure FNTS stays on the cutting edge of market technological development and maintains its long-standing tradition of offering specialized IT solutions to clients all over the world. Ken embraces the complexities of technology as it advances and works to ensure that FNTS’ scalable, secure, and custom-built IT solutions maximize results for businesses of all sizes.
Ken, a native of Juniata, Nebraska, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Human Resource Management from Hastings College. Ken likes to travel, go hunting, fishing, boating, and diving with his wife and three daughters.
Below are highlights of the interview:
Can you tell us a little about your journey before starting your professional journey?
I grew up in south central Nebraska, where I attended high school. I went to Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska. I began my career as an entry-level call center agent at West Corporation and advanced throughout the years to become Senior Vice President of Technical Operations. Over my career at West, I helped build three network operations centers, many software products that our clients utilized to improve their customers’ experiences, and the advanced technology platforms needed to run those solutions.
Tell us about your role and responsibility at FNTS.
I’m the Chief Technology Officer at FNTS and oversee the company’s technology direction and service delivery initiatives. My role is to build a great team and enable team members to drive our technical strategies and delivery processes to maximize the FNTS customer experience.
I enjoy being a leader, developing teams, and managing culture, leadership, and strategy. I am applying my almost 30 years of industry experience to ensure the company remains innovative, nimble, and evolves its infrastructure and managed services offerings with the pace of technical change in the marketplace.
What are the company’s offerings that meet current corporate requirements?
FNTS is a cloud service provider that offers a comprehensive portfolio of products and services to enable our customers to meet their technical and business needs. We provide services and solutions through the FNTS Private Cloud, Microsoft Azure, the FNTS IBMz Cloud, and the FNTS IBM Power Cloud.We offer a full suite of services, including cloud management, cloud migrations, mainframe optimization, disaster recovery as-a service, backup as-a service, storage solutions, security services, and network solutions.
What is the technological implementation you are most proud of and why?
I am most proud of the teams we’ve built and the solutions our team members have delivered to maximize the FNTS customer experience. I am honored to develop team members and am committed to purposeful management that supports a positive culture for customers and employees to experience.
Tell me about your team management style. How would you describe it?
I’m a servant leader looking to grow other leaders. At FNTS, we prepare our people to work in cross-functional teams and enable the organization to make critical decisions at all levels.
It is gratifying to mentor employees and help them realize and understand their strengths and how they can complement the team.
What were the roadblocks that taught you valuable lessons in your professional journey?
Over the years, I have learned to become more self-aware and vulnerable with others, choosing to support others over choosing a personal path. Focusing on others helps you find ways to grow and develop your professional journey.
Which technological innovation will drastically change businesses in the next 5-10 years?
We are only scratching the surface of AI. Every technology will incorporate some level of artificial intelligence or will quickly be replaced by similar technology that does.
What are the most important attributes of successful leaders?
The most important attributes of successful leaders are self-awareness, humility, and vulnerability.