We sat down with Jon Mitchell, founder and CEO/CTO of Illumination Works, to talk about how the company got its beginnings, where we’ve been, and where we’re heading.
What is Illumination Works to you?
Solving problems is the personality of the company. The name Illumination Works came from wanting to have the next great idea, and 15 years later, I can honestly say we’ve had some really great ideas! When it comes down to it, we’re about learning and innovating, and then applying that to our customers’ problems. I want to have a company that embodies that mentality and that personality. With the great people we have here today, we’re definitely doing just that!
Tell us how Illumination Works got started.
When Illumination Works began in 2006, we were doing data warehousing, business rules generation, and analytics – essentially, the things I personally had already been doing, but for other companies. I didn’t have some grandiose vision of a big company, and my business philosophy was simple – if I get the job done, they’ll give me more work.
What I found was, not only did customers want to give me more work, they wanted me to go find other people who could do the same thing – smart people that will work hard and get the job done.
“If we put the right team of creative and brilliant minds together, working collaboratively, Illumination Works will continue to solve our client’s toughest problems, lead and innovate in the digital world.”
Jon Mitchell, CEO/CTO
Fast forward 15 years and we average 65 to 80 employees at any given time, with customers in both government and commercial industries, including financial, insurance, healthcare, retail, and more.
How has Illumination Works grown and expanded over time?
As we’ve grown, we’ve gotten into new and exciting capabilities, staying in front of technology advancements and innovation, with each advancement building on and complementing existing service offerings and experience. We started with traditional data warehouse implementations, which has grown to a wide range of services including artificial intelligence and machine learning, big data information frameworks, data visualization, application development, and cloud strategy. We’ve also found that some of our best work comes from the synergy of partnerships with like-minded companies who share our love of modern tech coupled with our deep passion for bringing digital transformation solutions to our customers to solve their toughest challenges.
Where do you see Illumination Works in the Future?
A continuous move-forward approach has really driven the company, driven the people, and driven me for the last 15 years. All of this lines up with my personal philosophy: I want to always be learning. The things that come up in the context of our projects, our research, become the next projects in the Innovation Lab, which become the next kinds of work that we go do for our clients. And that’s fun! That’s what gets me up in the morning, keeps me coming in, keeps me moving forward, and what I think is going to drive us as we move forward for the next 15 years.
ILW is committed to being the best and helping our customers realize success. We continue to embrace initiatives and capabilities that are driving innovations. Current areas of focus for us include prescriptive analytics and algorithms to exploit structured, unstructured, and image data for deep learning and information fusion, IoT integrations with existing systems to complete the digital fingerprint of business operations, and augmented reality overlays of real-world activities that leverage IoT and hybrid prognostic analytics.
Since our founding, Illumination Works has been a trusted partner to a wide range of industries and clients. Our customers have asked us to help solve their most challenging problems, and we’ve delivered on the trust they have given us. As business and technology change, we are committed to helping our customers embrace the disruptive and move forward smartly. We can only do that by continuing to seek out the best people to add to our team and help them reach their potential. We look forward to the daily challenge of being the best at what we do.
Jon Mitchell is the founder of Illumination Works and a leading authority in the digital transformation revolution. With hands-on experience in government and commercial implementations, Jon is an expert in data innovation, growing ILW’s expertise from traditional data warehouse implementations to a wide range of services including augmented/virtual reality, artificial intelligence, data science, machine learning, natural language processing, big data information framework, data visualization, application development, and cloud strategy. He provides day-to-day leadership of the senior executive team and sets strategic direction and vision for the organization. In 2006, he started Illumination Works to offer a better solution to clients and has never looked back.