David O’Connell: “Citizen Development and AI”

AI is no longer a ‘nerd’ topic. Now, everyone is interested in AI, including the Board of Directors who lack knowledge.

AI tools have grown exponentially in popularity.

Tools such as Chat GPT / Einstein Salesforce / Bing AI Microsoft seen in areas such as financial services/radiology/manufacturing

Democratization of AI

How might we rethink how organisations adopt AI in the light of recent developments?

Participant 1:

  • Seen many recent changes in IT creation capabilities in the business units
  • Mendix for example
  • AI expands this ability to other users, allowing people to be more creative and access more areas.
  • Improves access to software development, generating code and fundamentally changing jobs
  • More enjoyable and menial as routine tasks disappear

Participant 2:

  • Automate manual work
  • No cognitive work is not safe – this can now be automated with AI

Markus Sontheimer – ISS:

  • Problem with change management,
  • Agile teams in functional departments need to spread out more.

Participant 4:

  • A lot of the debate has been focused on organisations
  • From a managerial point of view, I need to make clear the specific tasks (not jobs) that are being automated.
  • How to we facilitate hybrid development, AI as ‘assistants’ to workers?
  • Language plays an important part in acceptance, Assistants v robots.

Participant 5:

  • AI does not replace workers but can help existing workers.
  • Collaboration is key, AI does not replace doctors/lawyers, but doctors with AI will replace doctors without

Participant 6:

  • What is the specific algorithm? Who controls it?

Participant 7:

  • Skill development and training will be much higher for organisations.
  • Need to keep up to speed with developments.

Participant 8:

  • If tasks disappear some hours of work will disappear.
  • Some jobs will have less capacity needs
  • 94% of German citizens would accept chatbots / ‘digital assistance’

Participant 9:

  • Requires a robust governance framework.
  • Academia should help define certain standards. Advisory boards.

Tasks will change, the way we frame communication, change management.

Potential solution: democratisation of AI.

Positive framing needs to be relevant and meaningful for people.

People are afraid of AI and we need to improve this. The world is changing, need to communicate that AI is positive and when used in the right way can provide value

Felix Kruger – Volkswagen Digital Solutions:

  • People don’t trust AI to make sound decisions.
  • Digitization is creating fear, must trust technology
  • Is this in the job profile of a CIO?
  • Who should be the leader of educating the people about AI? CIO? Leadership team? Not a question of technology but of change management, making sure the chosen educator has the competence

Participant 11:

  • Not everyone’s perception.
  • There is an open-minded atmosphere with AI.
  • Company had to push back: do not expose company data to Chat GPT
  • A productivity tool, nothing more.
  • Maturing of the organisation but reflects poorly on employee awareness of what information should be exposed online.
  • It needs to be supervised but not by IT. This is more a legal issue. Might be down to the CIO?

Participant 12:

  • This is a company-wide issue.
  • Keywords need to be made appealing and relevant to the company and people in the company.

Need to clarify the roles and what can be expected from whom. Propose a model.

Participant 13:

  • Do not like the attitude that there is a business function and IT.
  • IT are also domain experts.

Interplay of competences.

Participant 14:

  • Can’t expect one perspective to solve it all.
  • Agile team with different roles.

So, who pays the bill? It only works if you have somebody who takes leadership.

If the AI creates efficiency for the business then the business pays for it – it’s a longer term ROI, if it provides immediate value to the consumer, then they pay for it

Participant 15:

  • If you want to be profitable as a company, you need to scale AI.
  • If you just have AI and it doesn’t scale, then it will not have a positive impact.

Markus Sontheimer – ISS:

  • Implementation of analytics
  • One job of the CIO is to reduce complexity
  • AI can be reduced to mathematics and analytics can be explained to board members
  • But how do we provide a simple explanation for NLP to board members
  • Translate what is happening outside to what is happening inside the company, how does Chat GPT impact the institution

Participant 16:

  • Present what does generative AI mean for their area
  • Opportunity to put something together, good for the reputation of IT to be proactive
  • Go to the board about Microsoft Co-Pilot – show that it is tangible and useful for the business – not starting from scratch, standing on the shoulders of giants – utilising existing Ai models
  • Make it tangible and show concretely what can be done with it
  • What are the repercussions?

Participant 17:

  • What are the pros and cons, how can AI be leveraged

Jan-Niklas Keltsch – Deloitte:

  • How to scale out AI
  • Can’t put client data in a third-party AI model
  • Have to also explain to customers how their data is being used
  • Control access completely
  • AI team consisting of data privacy, technical and legal specialists, for employees to ask questions such as when and when not to use AI
  • What master agreement sits on that cloud environment
  • Professional Secrecy Amendment

Participant 19:

  • Chinese walls between different language models.
  • Technology is faster than policy and regulation

Separate into 5 breakout groups discussing how to prepare executive team for the board meeting on AI:

  • How does AI impact our strategy
  • How do we deal with new AI risks?
  • How do we budget and spend capital on AI?
  • How do we build AI competencies at the board level?

CIO Presentations

Presentation 1

Two options.

Must be relevant appealing and available.

  1. Recall. Generative AI, give the CIO the green light and they report back, pros/cons/risks/opportunities
  2. Shocker video, all in. If you don’t act now, you will miss the chance

Presentation 2

Give an overview of generative AI, explain what it is and what it isn’t’

Demonstrate it. Deep Fake video of CEO. Show something very clear to see the idea behind it.

Chances and risks


  • Deep fakes
  • Security
  • Manipulation
  • Bios


  • Sales
  • New business model
  • Productivity

Do a deep dive on the potential that AI have.

Propose guidelines,

Do whatever it costs.

Presentation 3

Overview, be specific, what is the technology, show use cases.

Demystify, show that there is an interest.

Then get specific for the company. Make it clear that it is not a silver bullet.

Propose a guidance, what should be used in the company, what’s in it for us

What do we expect from the board. Pilot is too specific. How to organise it for the company.

Future of IT is networking for the company.

What are the business/legal risks involved and how can these be addressed.

Shared governance

Presentation 4

Result at the end would be the next steps.

Moment of impact – understand AI. Get some real tangible examples.
Specific examples to allow them to get the feel of it.
What does this mean for us? What does this mean for the business?
Chances and risk

What have we done already in the direction and what’s coming next

Doing a POC. Need to investigate the regulations because people are already using it.

Need to communicate to employees how to use AI.

Chat GPT does not address the risks.

Digitisation is not a high priority topic for CEOs, they have many other topics to cover.

How relevant was the topic?

The topic was extremely relevant, Chat GPT played a large role in the discussion and has been in the news only just recently. Was great to have CIOs discussing a topic that is happening right now, across all industries and walks of life.

What did I take away from this topic?

There is a constant theme throughout this topic, and other topics that have been raised by the CIOs, of accountability and the role of the CIO ever growing and expanding. Becoming more about managing the rapid change and the adoption rather than the technology itself. As organisations are becoming more and more digitized, the CIO is expected to take a further responsibility to know everything there is to know about all upcoming technologies, and to keep the board informed about future opportunities. There seems to be widespread confusion/hesitance across all industries about the use of AI and the urgency that is needed to adopt it, and who’s job it is to educate the higher stakeholders about the value it can bring to a company.