Artificial Intelligence is no longer hype—we’re seeing practical implementations in the day-to-day business operations of Nordic companies. Specifically, AI is a key part of products and services improving operational efficiencies vis-à-vis increasing productivity, enhancing worker and customer experiences, and building new synergies that were unimaginable a few years back.
Even though AI adoption in the Nordics has gained momentum, only 6% of Nordic companies can be categorized as AI Achievers (companies leveraging AI’s full potential). Only 1% of Nordic companies report that their AI experts and business leaders are working hand in hand to drive the strategic agenda of the organization.
Advancing from practice to performance
AI maturity comes down to mastering a set of key capabilities in the right combinations—not only in data and AI, but also in organizational strategy, talent, and culture—to give companies a strong competitive advantage.
There is incentive to move quickly – Accenture estimates that AI transformation will happen much faster than digital transformation. AI-influenced revenue for Nordic companies doubled between 2019 and 2022 and is predicted to triple over the next three years.
The good news is that the groundwork has already been laid—with 78% of organizations having re-worked their existing cloud strategy to be more in sync with evolving AI strategy to achieve AI success. With more companies in the Nordics experimenting with AI, the region is well positioned to more than double the number of AI Achievers by 2025.
AI transformation will happen much faster than digital transformation. Nordic companies must act quickly to invest in AI and move from experimentation to excellence to stay competitive.
How are Nordic companies doing?
According to our research, only 6% of the Nordic companies (vs. 12% globally) have both the foundation and differentiated strategy to fully capitalize on the power of AI. Overall, Nordic companies resemble global AI Innovators, as they are defined by mature AI strategies but struggle to operationalize.
Nordic companies have low data management and governance maturity, which is critical to realizing the full value of AI. However, eight out of ten companies have to some extent reworked their existing cloud strategies to be more in sync with their evolving AI strategy and roadmap. In the Nordic region, companies have a clear vision to be data- and AI-driven but struggle to execute. They understand the value of AI, but they do not know how to scale. Companies across industries are conducting pilots in multiple functions, but many of them are in the early stages.
78% of organizations have re-worked their existing cloud strategy to be more in sync with evolving AI strategy to achieve AI success.
Nordic companies planning to significantly increase their AI budgets with +43% from 2022 to 2025.
AI influenced revenue is predicted to triple over the next three years.
Which industries are leading the transformation?
Currently, the Resources industry is leading the way in terms of AI maturity in the Nordics. Other industries such as Financial Services (FS), Health and Public Services (H&PS), Communications, Media and Technology (CMT) have fallen behind due to a lack of AI infrastructure and a shortage of AI-trained workers with an understanding of legal and compliance issues. However, these industries are expected to make significant AI advances and accelerate their AI maturity journey over the next three years.
How AI Achievers master their craft: 5 success factors
While there is clearly a science to AI, our findings demonstrate there is an art to AI maturity. We discovered in our recent global AI research that AI Achievers are not defined by the sophistication of any one capability, but by their ability to combine strengths across strategy, processes, and people.
Here are five ways AI Achievers master their craft:
1. Champion AI
Their top leaders champion AI as a strategic priority for the entire organization.
2. Invest heavily
They invest heavily in talent to get more from their AI investments.
3. Industrialize AI
They industrialize AI tools and teams to create a strong AI core.
4. Design AI responsibly
They design AI responsibly, from the start.
5. Prioritize investments
They prioritize long- and short-term AI investments.
With the potential for AI applications to scale, the Nordic region has the potential to quickly transform its economy. Nordic organizations will move from pilots to production at scale in the next few years, thanks to a robust private sector, collaborative governments, and a digitally mature population with high trust in both the private and public sectors. However, to compete with their global peers, Nordic companies must further develop their data and AI capabilities – moving from experimentation to excellence. Advancing to AI maturity is no longer a choice. It is an imperative for every industry, every organization, and every leader.