Software Supremacy: Roland Berger and Creative Dock Lead Pioneering Discussion at WEF AM 2024
“The Davos forum highlighted the transformative power of AI in the business landscape. It's clear that integrating AI into company strategy and daily operations is no longer optional but a necessity for companies to stay competitive and innovative. This transformation goes beyond mere technology adoption; it requires a shift in mindset and culture within organisations,” Martin Pejsa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Creative Dock, stated at an executive dinner, which his company, together with the strategy consulting firm Roland Berger, hosted for 80 top-tier C-suite executives, at the margins of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024. Indeed, the AI transformation of big brands has been a significant topic for Creative Dock in the past year.
Words: Michal Schindler, Photo: Shutterstock, Creative Dock archive
Unlocking Trillions in Value with Strategic AI Implementation
Thanks to what's now a daily experience for his company, Pejsa elaborated in more detail on the significance of one of the undoubtedly main insights of this year's conference in Davos – the revolution sparked by AI, especially its generative component, has just begun. For Creative Dock, recognised as Europe and MENA's most prominent independent corporate venture builder, artificial intelligence has been a crucial strategic tool for more efficient venture creation for quite a long time. This extensive experience in this new phenomenon is a significant advantage now.
The current shift is primarily characterised by AI's increasing penetration into the core operations of numerous companies. Gen AI is poised to revolutionise roles and enhance performance across functions like sales and marketing, customer operations, and software development. It can unlock trillions of dollars in value across banking and life sciences sectors.* We are observing a noticeable trend of evident transformations across various industries, transitioning from hardware to software and beyond – all while relying on and harnessing human potential concurrently.
AI requires proper human leadership
The imperative to transition from mere excitement about the capabilities of generative AI to the more challenging task of optimising its usage also involves transforming organisations and their employees. “At Creative Dock, we've embraced this change, using AI to enhance operational efficiency and empower our employees. Our focus on comprehensive strategy development and practical proofs-of-concept provides a roadmap for companies seeking to harness the full potential of AI, preparing them for the future of AI development,” says Pejsa. Indeed, no matter how impressive the technology may be, the strategic value of its exploitation relies on effective human leadership. AI should not be admired in isolation; instead, we must maximise its potential to benefit companies and their customers.
"One thing we learned in our AI Transformation Projects this year is that the bulk of the work is not technical but change management. It doesn’t matter if it’s automation, AI or any other transformation – you need to master the art of change management."
Dr. Sebastian Knab, Managing Director of Strategic Foresight & Innovation at Rohrbeck Heger by Creative Dock – check the whole interview
Navigating the Transition to a Software-Driven Paradigm
This topic was also part of the primary focus of this year's Creative Dock and Roland Berger event at the margins of the WEF AM 2024. Titled "Software Supremacy: From Hardware to Software and Beyond," the main discussion subject was the critical transition from a traditional hardware- to a software-centric world, revolutionising industries worldwide. The keynote, given by Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Integrity, Governance & Sustainability, was followed by a panel with her, Thomas Saueressig, Executive Board Member of SAP SE, SAP Product Engineering and Prof. Dr. Tobias Gutmann, Assistant Professor of Product Innovation at EBS Business School, moderated by Manuel Hörl, Head of International Ventures and Advisor to Executive Chairman, Creative Dock.
Today's strategy has two integral pillars – AI and sustainability
Jungo Brüngger said in her keynote speech: “The power of governance in transforming industries – especially in times of a shifting focus from hardware to software – should be leveraged. We at Mercedes-Benz are using governance as an enabler for trust. This is reflected in a group-wide coordination function for Sustainability & Governance.” She further touched on sustainability being an integral part of the industries’ transition. At the automotive company, sustainability is integrated with compliance and risk management, strategic decision-making, and product development processes.
The better you integrate AI, the greater the competitive advantage
The panellists discussed how AI and emerging technologies could be leveraged and how this can help businesses align with global sustainability trends. It seems inevitable that AI will impact the vast majority of business operations in the future, and first movers integrating these advanced technologies will leap ahead of their competition. “Software and especially Artificial Intelligence hold an evolutionary power that can elevate whole operating models. Companies and institutions that embrace this emerging technology can increase their efficiency, fast-track innovation, and foster collaboration,“ Marcus Berret, Global Managing Director at Roland Berger, summarised the conclusions of the discussion. But he also commented on the ethical requirements for the use of AI and its potential impact on everyday life.
"Of course, ethical guardrails and policy frameworks for AI will be paramount for this technology to be implemented in the best possible way, as it will impact not only our economy but also our daily lives. We believe AI will have a positive impact on both the economy and society. By combining data, technology excellence and deep industry expertise, we guide our clients in implementing the right AI solutions tailored to their individual needs.”
Marcus Berret, Global Managing Director at Roland Berger
Key insights from the Davos executive dinner:
- Embracing AI now will give businesses a competitive edge, increase efficiency, foster collaboration and fast-track innovation efforts.
- Establishing ethical guardrails and policy frameworks is of utmost importance for implementing AI technology, given its wide-ranging impact on our economic and daily spheres. (We delved deeper into this topic on our blog earlier. Check out the article Artificial Intelligence as a Servant and a Potential Threat: Setting Boundaries.)
- Leveraging the power of governance is essential in transforming industries during shifts from a hardware to a software focus, with sustainability being an integral part of this transition.
* McKinsey & Company: 10 key takeaways from Davos 2024
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