By Ken O'Malley
As aeSolutions celebrates its 25th year in business, it’s natural to wonder what the next 25 years will bring. And while there’s no crystal ball to predict how new technologies, for example, will change the way we solve client problems, the one thing I know is that our success will be grounded in the same people-first mindset that got us to where we are today.
Here's what I mean.
The way in which aeSolutions emphasizes employee retention and development makes me very proud. We have many long-tenured employees who could work anywhere, yet they choose aeSolutions as their professional home.
For a company of our size, it’s rare to employ a full-time talent development specialist whose role is to create and improve employee development opportunities. While that represents a sizeable yet important investment to make our employees a top priority, we can point to more than two decades of proof that if we treat our employees well, our clients reap the benefit.
The “Next 25” Technologies
I was recently asked what I see as potential game-changing technologies that we can expect to impact the future of work, to which I responded that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will live near the top of that list for solving our most complex challenges, especially where large amounts of empirical data are available.
The pace at which AI has advanced over the past year is staggering. Even more surprising is how accessible it has become to everyone. It has opened up new problem-solving opportunities and possibilities that we once thought were unimaginable. As industrial engineers and consultants, our work centers on designing and implementing solutions to complex challenges – something that AI will only get better at.
At the same time, this advanced level of “machine thinking” will raise the potential for workers to contribute at a higher level which has always been the impact of new technology. This creates opportunities for people to grow and develop, something I think we should all be excited and optimistic about.
I do believe advanced technologies will put some roles at risk, at least as these roles are being executed today, as these new systems get better and better at diagnosing complex problems. My optimism, however, comes from believing that humans will continue to maintain essential roles that require creativity, empathy, critical thinking, and ethical decision-making. Collaboration between humans and technology results in improved productivity and new opportunities; there’s no reason to think this latest technology revolution will be any different.
Governmental and Market Factors
Much of what we do here at aeSolutions is either directly or indirectly impacted by governmental policy, particularly as it relates to the regulated industries that we serve, such as the energy sector.
Governmental decisions will continue to impact investments in new energy sectors, the green economy, and large-scale infrastructure programs. These are poised to create huge opportunities for companies like ours, provided we remain agile enough to adapt to these up-and-coming economic opportunities.
On an international level, deglobalization without increasing production costs and a smaller workforce will both drive up the need for automation. Regardless, I’m confident we’ll continue to redefine ourselves in ways that allow us to deliver the most value to our existing clients and new ones.
Staying Laser Focused
For aeSolutions, putting the client at the center of our business, maintaining an efficient and lean operation to drive costs down, and focusing intently on clients’ needs and business objectives will shape the next two decades.
Operationally speaking, being able to transition clients from our front-end consulting services to our back-end engineering and automation teams with high quality and predictability will be key to executing larger, more complex projects, ultimately bringing real, lasting value to our clients on a larger scale.
We will continue to support our team members to help them reach their full potential as employees and as people. For clients, working hard to serve as their guides while always having a keen interest in their overall success, not just the success of their projects, is how we do business.
With the leadership team we have in place and the exciting vision we have for the future, we are poised to take our employees, our clients, and our business to the next level.