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Accenture has defined five key traits of companies that are leading the way in scaling value from AI, these principles are referred to by the acronym MELDS:

  1. They have adopted the right MINDSET for reimagining what’s possible. E.g. using AI to for driving efficiency on current business, grow current business but also create completely new business models.
  2. They have championed EXPERIMENTATION throughout the enterprise.
  3. Their LEADERSHIP has taken an active role in setting goals and directing AI strategy, not leaving decisions siloed to IT practitioners.
  4. They have incorporated DATA as an integral part of their AI strategy, always striving to obtain the right data rather than the most data.
  5. They have empowered employees to cultivate new SKILLS, all while redefining their work around AI.

One company that are living many of the MELDS principles is the Industrial Equipment company Atlas Copco where the Industrial Technique Business Area is now more than one year in to the journey of scaling automation. Kurt Vandingenen, who is Vice President Business Control in Business Area Industrial Technique, puts his words on the learnings so far in the process.

It has been a journey for us and it is clear that mindset, ability to experiment, strong leadership, the importance of data, and cultivating new skills are essential to scale value from automation. On the topic of leadership and mindset, we have been very clear with a bold ambition in automation that in turn has enabled a mindset where we dare to test new things and experiment. We aim to apply a “nail and scale” approach where we quickly test new opportunity areas and quickly conclude to drop or scale the opportunity.

We also put strong emphasis on our people and making sure that they have the skills and confidence needed to operate in the human + machine age, of course step by step. The response from our employees has been positive and this new way of more agile way or working in combination with starting to work with new emerging technologies has really allowed us take one step into the future, something that is essential for us to stay relevant and competitive!

Another company who is deep the journey of Scaling automation is Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). Daniel Engberg, who is Head of AI at Scandinavian Airlines shares his to the journey and what makes success.

We see Automation and AI as key levers to improve all aspects of our business to stay competitive and cost efficient. During the time we have worked to scale automation and AI few key aspects has been identified as important. Commitment and dedication from leadership is necessary to rely on the new technology and execute the change management within the organization, if we do not take the technology into use even the best AI applications are worthless.

Communication and training are also of essence to all levels of the organization to make everyone feel involved and embrace what technology can do for them. To succeed with building buy-in it is important to be able to show the organization quick results through experimentation and validate some of the hypothesis early, this also helps to change the mindset that time to value from new technology must be counted in years. Last but not least is securing data quality and availability to use as fuel for our AI applications.

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