We are very excited to welcome Conny Svensson as our new Head of AI Transformation. Before joining AI Sweden, Conny worked at one of our partner organizations, CGI as Head of AI for the last three years and before that he was leading their digital transformation offerings. We asked Conny to tell us about his new role here at AI Sweden and what it means for the AI community in Sweden.
Hello Conny and a warm welcome to AI Sweden! Could you tell us a bit about what you will be doing in your new role?
Thank you, and yes of course! The overarching mission for AI Sweden is to accelerate the use of AI nation-wide. We do this in close collaboration with our partners and have identified three key areas where organizations need to excel in order to gain maximum reward from their AI initiatives. First, relevant and high-quality data and infrastructure provides an important basis for any AI project. We meet this need at AI Sweden through our Data Factory and its testbed initiatives, such as Edge Lab. On top of this, AI expertise and technology is required, an area often led by data scientists or similar AI specific roles. At AI Sweden we successfully run a number of strategic programs and have a project portfolio that focuses on applied AI. Last but not least, a focus on business and user understanding will be crucial to accelerate AI. In essence this is about having the right mindset, competence and willingness to change. This is what we call AI Transformation and is where I will spend most of my time.
Could you tell us more about what value you want to bring to partners?
For an AI project to succeed it needs to solve a real need for the business or the users it serves. AI can and will change processes at the core and this requires strong leadership, a good strategy and transformational thinking. AI Sweden will therefore place an even larger emphasis these issues and increase our support for partners in AI Transformation.
Many reports and studies show that the biggest reason AI or data driven initiatives fail is not technology based but related to people and culture. For any change to succeed you need to apply new mindsets, new ways of working, new partnerships, new skills, new business models and transformed processes. This is especially true for a technology such as AI which has huge potential to increase business values, but that often requires changing existing processes at its very core. Applying AI to an existing area without making the necessary organizational and procedural changes is a common mistake.
So, what is needed to avoid making this mistake?
How to start and scale the AI transformation journey will look different depending on what culture, organization, operating model, legacy and business model you have today. At AI Sweden, we aim to collect common practices, tools, use cases, change and strategy advice as well as practical training to acquire new skills needed.
Data engineers and data scientists will remain key roles for any AI journey, however I will work on developing what it means to be an AI Change Agent. This is a person working in the intersection of people, business and AI, and will be crucial for organizations to succeed with their AI Transformation.
How do partners get in touch with you if they want to share their own experience or discuss any needs they might have?
Input from our partners is very important – both in terms of what is needed today and what has worked so far. Please feel free to reach out to let me know about use cases, or even things that didn’t work out as expected!
If you want to come in contact with Conny to discuss this new area, AI Transformation, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org