Dietgar Voelzke: The Quest for Efficiency Over Effectiveness

“AI boosts efficiency, but is AI really used to be effective?“ , says CIOmover Dietgar Voelzke, CIO and member of the board at financial services provider Netfonds AG. In the blind rush to adopt AI, companies are urged to apply and integrate AI at any cost to achieve maximum efficiency and, consequently, maximum economic success.

Only 12% of companies worldwide use AI effectively; the rest are still in the experimental stage. Why is AI mostly still in experimental status at companies although it has been in focus for the last two years?
According to Dietgar it’s obvious: When applying AI, companies encounter classic challenges. With each further exploration, it becomes evident that organizations must first do their fundamentals. An AI solution does not automatically improve ineffective processes – it simply scales the ineffectiveness extremely efficiently. Automating a bad process is still a bad process.

“What exactly is to be achieved with the AI solution? What problem is to be solved? Only when the goals have been clearly defined, the right technology can be selected and the solution successfully implemented,” explains Dietgar Völzke. In the development and use of AI solutions, legal and technical conditions should be considered. Companies must ensure compliance and guarantee the security of the solution. Netfonds operates in a regulatory environment and evaluates AI initiatives critically and holistically using a structured AI Canvas methodology.

The Biggest Challenge in Building an AI Solution: Data – the new (s)oil.
Biggest challenge in building an AI solution is data. The right data must be available in sufficient quantity and quality. The data requires a format that can be processed by the AI solution. A data-centric architecture is a crucial factor for the success of AI solutions. Netfonds like others face ongoing challenges in fully implementing and living this.

Netfonds still has a few legacy systems left that are not designed for the requirements of AI solutions. Therefore, a solution must be found to make data accessible for AI. Being in the cloud for the last five years helps Netfonds in exploring and integrating AI with low barriers.

We also need to talk about this, says Dietgar: “There is still too little awareness of the value of data, especially in business. And if we don’t just talk about abstract values, but specifically about value creation with data, close collaboration with the business is even more important. It is extremely important that IT and business are growing together, another essential factor for the successful implementation of AI solutions.”