Shay Bahramirad is an electrical engineer by training in the business of innovation. Bahramirad works at Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), the public utility company responsible for delivering electricity to 3.8 million customers in Chicago and Northern Illinois.
Bahramirad serves as ComEd’s Director of Smart Grid and Technology, which means she is responsible for leading the team that is pioneering new technologies and new uses of technologies, all in the interest of providing electricity consumers with a secure grid, cleaner and leaner energy and choice of energy options.
Bahramirad received her Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and joined the ComEd team in 2013. She serves on a board of several organizations which are developing the vision and standards for the future of the energy industry. Bahramirad is also an adjunct professor at Illinois Institute of Technology, teaching courses related to Smart Grid, Microgrids and Sustainable Energy. Her passion lies in working at the leading edge of innovation and technology.
(Photo courtesy of Shay Bahramirad)
What are the top four things small businesses can do to be successful in the marketplace in terms of technology?
At ComEd, we think about this a lot, as we try to reach and work with businesses interested in testing new technologies on our smart grid. In the end, it comes down to following a few guidelines.
Be practical. Many technologies are proposed in our field, but not all are practical. To be able to be used in practical settings and addressing real-world problems is a decisive factor in technology adoption.
Be cost-effective. The benefits offered by a technology should justify the cost. In other words, the solution of the cost-benefit analysis should encourage the customer to adopt the new technology.
Be in close contact with customers. End-users of a technology should be involved in the process of developing a new technology via feedbacks, market surveys, etc. Otherwise, we can spend a lot of energy devising technologies and tools that seem cool, but will never be wanted or used. At ComEd, we work closely with entrepreneurs through an Energy Foundry, through which we provide feedback to entrepreneurs on their innovations and through our test bed, via which entrepreneurs and innovators can connect their equipment and devices to the ComEd grid for testing.
Be flexible. Testing and constant technologies innovation mean that there will constantly be room for improvement. Businesses should be flexible to make necessary changes to their offerings.
This article was written by Michelle Guilbeau of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.