2012 System Integrator Giants: CSIA perspective: Education, accountability

A larger percentage of SI Giants 2012 are CSIA members; CSIA provides a viewpoint.

Robert Lowe

So what is the message being revealed in the survey results for the 2012 System Integrator Giants? Is it that a larger percentage of the SI Giants are Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) members compared to the smaller ones because they are large? Or are they large because they are CSIA members? There is no clear answer; in fact it's probably a bit of both. As CSIA executive director, I talk to many members and was told by the president of possibly our largest member that "I want to be a member because we raise the professionalism of the industry. I like certification. Certification is good in that every three years we have to renew it. It makes us better and keeps us on our toes and accountable." Another member speaking of certification simply said, "It's a good exercise to make us better."

Robert Lowe is executive director of the Control System Integrators Association. Courtesy: CSIAAside from certification, CSIA provides opportunities for all members, large and small, to build domestic and international relationships and build better companies. It is a testimony to our success that nearly half of the SI Giants are members, but considering that our average company size is only 25 people, it is apparent that we also offer good value for small to midsize SIs.

A viewpoint I often hear from small prospective members is that "I won't have time to take advantage of membership." My response is to engage just a little, and if you learn and apply one thing it will save or earn enough to pay your dues, thus making you a better company. I believe the percentage is lower when surveying SIs of all sizes because of this perception that they don't have time for CSIA. My suggestion for managers of all SI companies is to see past the daily activities of running a company and "see the forest, not just some trees." CSIA provides that broad vision.

Lowe is executive director of the Control System Integrators Association, www.controlsys.org

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