The future of work is shifting and changing

The CSIA Executive Conference returns for the first time since 2019 with the world grappling with the changes of a pandemic and many other challenges that are changing how people work and interact with others.

By Chris Vavra June 28, 2022
Courtesy: Chris Vavra, CFE Media and Technology

It had been three years since the last CSIA Executive Conference and CEO Jose Rivera looked relieved and enthusiastic to be back on the stage to address a crowd of more than 500 people in Denver. It had been a real slog since the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020 and being back on the stage was yet another step toward a sense of normalcy in a world where the very definition of the word is being redefined.

Rivera said, “It’s like a deep-sea diver coming back to the surface and finding a new set of realities.”

The future of work for engineering

The Executive Conference’s theme, The Future of Work, is set to challenge and help system integrators stay ahead of the curve. The future of work, Rivera said, is focused on three key aspects:

What? The deliverables. The supply chain issues have caused major issues across manufacturing and many other industries. Resolving these challenges is a long-term solution and will require innovation and an emphasis on thinking ahead.

Where? The workplace. The future of work is not necessarily in an office anymore. The pandemic changed the dynamic of how people work and where they work. The advent of the IIoT, coupled with technology advances, have made it so it’s not mandatory to be in the office in some industries.

Who? The people. Workers have different needs and different desires. He mentioned a study where they polled workers’ preference on remote versus in-office work by generation and Rivera admitted he thought it was a mistake when it was the younger workers greatly preferred being in the office or working hybrid compared to older workers who preferred being remote.

“The younger workers need to come to the office,” Rivera said. “They need to develop their network and they need help from their older workers to develop their skills. “Now in times of the great resignation and new expectations we need to adjust to what is happening out there.”

CSIA CEO Jose Rivera addresses the crowd for the opening speech for the 2022 CSIA Executive Conference in Denver. Courtesy: Chris Vavra, CFE Media and Technology

CSIA CEO Jose Rivera addresses the crowd for the opening speech for the 2022 CSIA Executive Conference in Denver. Courtesy: Chris Vavra, CFE Media and Technology

Support for Ukraine emphasized

The system integrator community is a global one, and the CSIA has been steadfast in its support for Ukraine as the country grapples with Russia invading Ukraine.

For Luigi De Bernadini, CEO of Autoware, it was as much a personal fight as much as a moral one. A close friend and system integrator, Vladimir Morenko, tried to create awareness and support for what was happening to his country. He wanted people to know what was happening and that inspired him. He died a few weeks after sending that message. In the wake of his passing, the CSIA created the #Professionals4Ukraine program and unanimously approved complimentary CSIA membership for Ukrainian SIs for two years and are providing professional support to the community.

Another program, started by Autoware, is the One Hour for Ukraine (#1H4U) initiative. In this program, an employee donates one hour of labor and the company matches the donation to create a fund to support Ukraine.

The CSIA created the #Professionals4Ukraine program and unanimously approved complimentary CSIA membership for Ukrainian SIs for two years and are providing professional support to the community. Courtesy: Chris Vavra, CFE Media and Technology

The CSIA created the #Professionals4Ukraine program and unanimously approved complimentary CSIA membership for Ukrainian SIs for two years and are providing professional support to the community. Courtesy: Chris Vavra, CFE Media and Technology

De Bernadini was emotional during his story and closed by saying, “He was a great friend and the inspiration for this initiative. If we are doing something in support for Ukraine, it was because of him. I’m executing what he had created.”

Rivera said, “This is a demonstration for how passionate we are for our community and our industry.”

Chris Vavra, web content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, cvavra@cfemedia.com.


Chris Vavra
Author Bio: Chris Vavra is the web content manager for CFE Media.