As the business world becomes increasingly digital, one Columbus consulting company is leveraging the Region's labor pool to help organizations solve their IT challenges.
ICC Technology, Ohio's largest privately held IT services provider, specializes in strategy and design for user experience, and provides services for technology integration and business analytics.
“What you see in the world today is a movement towards what is generally called the digital transformation,” CEO Steven Glaser says.
The transition to mobile technology is especially relevant, and visible to consumers and businesses alike.
“Now it has become critical to every business, the more that millennials do business on their phones,” says Glaser, who has led the organization since 1995. “We're all headed in this ‘Amazonian,' Uber world, everything someday is going to come through that phone, and everybody is working to be prepared to do that.”
ICC, from its state-of-the-art development center in Columbus, has helped shape the IT strategy of many well-known firms in the Region, across a variety of industries.
Its portfolio of clients include government agencies and national and global companies such as Nationwide, L Brands and Cardinal Health.
In one local project, ICC helped Bob Evans to streamline processes, optimize inventory and share information in real-time across store, channel and system boundaries. More than 500 restaurants were integrated into an enterprise backbone to measure transaction flow to forecast labor needs at each location.
“We've invested a lot in the Columbus market and the people around Columbus,” Glaser says. “Columbus allows for growth, and it's a great place for our company to have grown up.”
Being located in Columbus provides not only a roster of reputable clients but a coping mechanism in facing one of the industry's difficult tests.
“I think that the challenges in the marketplace today are labor—it's a high-employment market,” Glaser says. “The skillset demands are great, (and) there are less people out there with the skills that you need. These are relatively new techniques that are popping up every day—how do we deal with that?”
For one, access to talent coming out of The Ohio State University and other nearby institutions.
“The fortunate part is we've located ourselves in a great region. There are numerous colleges and a great labor pool for us to draw from,” Glaser says. “We see a lot of people coming out with computer science degrees. We love the course of the last 10 years.”
ICC hires many local graduates and then trains them for the ever-changing needs of clients. “We've been fortunate to have a great group of people we develop in this marketplace,” he says. “The only way that you can do that is by developing a culture that allows these people to flourish.”
Glaser says Columbus has a bit of a small-town atmosphere in many ways.
“You have a plethora of people with strong Midwestern values that want to work hard,” he says.
“The challenge you always face is competition,” he adds. “We compete at a high level across lots of different verticals. It's not as easy as it looks. The biggest thing that differentiates us is we invest in clients and our people.”