The Nordic AI advantage

The Nordic AI advantage

Nordic CEOs expect the numbers of skilled employees in the region to increase, not decrease, because skilled supervisors of new technologies will be required as work is brought back onshore.

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The CEO as Chief Disruptor

Nordic CEOs expect the numbers of skilled employees in the region to increase, not decrease, because skilled supervisors of new technologies will be required as work is brought back onshore.

“We see the previous focus on pure labour arbitrage by sending work to low-cost countries, gradually being replaced by more balanced delivery models, where a small, skilled workforce, leveraging cognitive technologies and robotics, can handle tasks more efficiently and at a lower cost,” says Morten Mønster.

Overall, companies expect to increase their outsourcing efforts, but AI, robotics and automation are important parts of the strategic considerations, when deciding what tasks and areas to outsource, and what should be insourced locally. Mønster points to AI reinforcing existing business models, and mentions Vestas and Maersk as examples of companies leveraging cognitive intelligence as part of their existing business models, rather than building new models around AI. Compared to their international peers, this is a distinctive feature of the region. 78% of Nordic CEOs are concerned about integrating automated business processes with AI, compared to 52% of the global benchmark.
 

Nordic CEOs are concerned with the quality of the data used for decision making in this area, with only 27% saying they are ready to adopt advanced AI technology. Nordic companies with a digital business model are embracing AI. Spotify relies on AI for recommendation engines and Klarna uses AI for detecting fraud and credit assessment. However, examples of the use of artificial intelligence among incumbents are now more and more widespread. Examples include Novo Nordisk, who use Watson in their R&D, and Siemens Wind Power, which is using machine learning to bring down the cost of windmill maintenance.
 

There are plenty of examples in the financial services sector. SEB has begun using one of the most advanced digital assistants, Amelia, internally and for customer service as well. DanskeBank has launched a robo-advisor called June that customers can use instead of a traditional adviser.
 

Firms are beginning to deploy robotics which entails both rule-based AI and image recognition. This is spreading in the Nordic countries and is being used for a large array of tasks such as preparing customer meetings, making payments, handling critical illness claims at lightning speed, fixing data issues and enabling new digital solutions. Voice and chatbots are appearing with a voice-based solution in a Norwegian bank and chatbots are being deployed at a large insurer. The AI revolution has begun and Nordic companies are on the right track.

CEO Outlook 2017

CEO Outlook 2017 is based on in-depth interviews with 1300 CEOs worldwide including the Nordics.

 
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© 2017 KPMG P/S, a Danish limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

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