In our inaugural Friday Learnings Deep Dive Conversation, Sina engages in a riveting discussion with Flemming Weyers, a seasoned managing consultant at Horváth Digital. With a rich history of working across various data facets, Flemming brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. His current role involves guiding businesses, especially financial institutions, through the maze of digital transformation and the adoption of cutting-edge technologies like generative AI.
One of the focal points of their conversation revolves around the present scenario of banks and their reception to emerging technologies. It's evident that while banks are keen on automation-driven use cases that promise immediate efficiency gains, the transformative potential of generative AI remains largely untapped.
Aligning AI Strategy with Data Strategy: The Key to Transformation
For banks looking to harness the power of AI, the journey begins with introspection. It's crucial for these institutions to critically analyze potential AI applications in alignment with their overarching goals. As Flemming aptly puts it, "It’s better to have one use case that’s transformative than several that have low impact."
But the alignment doesn't stop there. To truly leverage AI's capabilities, banks must ensure that their data strategy is in sync with their AI aspirations. In Flemming's words, "Your organisation needs to speak data!" This means fostering a data-centric culture, where decisions are informed by insights and where data literacy is a priority.
Building the Right Team: A Blend of In-house Talent and External Expertise
While the allure of generative AI is undeniable, the reality is that most banks aren't yet equipped to onboard experts with advanced degrees in this niche field. However, this shouldn't deter them. Instead, banks can identify and nurture talent from within, focusing on individuals with relevant qualifications, such as data graduates. By providing these budding professionals with the right resources, banks can cultivate their very own AI teams or specialists.
Yet, it's equally vital for banks to recognize the limits of their in-house capabilities. Partnering with external specialists, like Unique, can fill the gaps and ensure that the AI journey is both comprehensive and effective. "Although it’s important to have an in-house team, it’s also important to NOT do everything yourself," Flemming advises.
AI: The New Kid on the Tech Block
It's easy to get caught up in the AI hype, but at its core, AI is just another technological tool. Flemming suggests that banks can benefit from reflecting on their past encounters with new technologies. By evaluating how they assessed and integrated previous tech innovations, banks can develop a more grounded and pragmatic approach to AI adoption.
Taking the Leap: Courage Over Comfort
Perhaps the most poignant takeaway from the conversation is the importance of courage. Embracing AI, or any new technology for that matter, requires banks to step out of their comfort zones. It's about venturing into the unknown, taking calculated risks, and being open to learning and evolving. It requires a little bit of courage to get out of your comfort zone and just get started.
In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, banks that heed this advice, align their strategies, and build the right teams will undoubtedly be at the forefront of the AI revolution.