AI-Driven Advancement – Strategies for Success

Town Hall Insights
DACH CIO Community

Sven Doelle

Head of Innovation and Technology



Archana Jain


Zurich Insurance


Alexander Graf

Global CIO

Huber + Suhner


Mourad Ajarti

Group CIO

Coca-Cola Hellenic


In an era of innovation, Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI) is emerging as a revolutionary concept that will redefine our understanding of productivity, strategy, and leadership. Hyper-personalisation has evolved beyond a buzzword, becoming a tangible and transformative element within the realm of modern IT. As such, CIOs must get ahead of the curve to leverage this technology to its fullest potential and build a future-proof IT organisation.

CIOs in our DACH Community gathered recently to discuss how to use AI in meaningful ways, build trust and transparency in the organisation, keep control of the AI narrative, and ensure that humans remain central to the AI revolution.

Sven Doelle, Head of Innovation and Technology at Adobe, moderated the discussion, and Evanta Governing Body Members Archana Jain, CTO at Zurich Insurance, Alexander Graf, Global CIO at Huber + Suhner, and Mourad Ajarti, Group CIO at Coca-Cola Hellenic, contributed as panellists.

The panellists set up the discussion by sharing a Gartner prediction: by 2026, more than 80% of enterprises will have embraced Gen AI. In addition, the amount of synthetic data coming out of Gen AI is expected to reduce by 70%. 

The discussion covered three topic areas:

  1. Using AI in meaningful ways, while balancing responsibility and ethics

Several CIOs are engaged in experimentation and testing with Generative AI. The IT leaders noted that sometimes the conversation around AI is based on fear, but also said that this is not the first time a new technology has been a major disruptor. They believe that like-minded people will come together and develop safeguards, but that they “don’t need to wait for regulation to make sure we are applying it in the right sense.” 

CIOs believe as business leaders they have to do the right thing in applying AI in an ethical manner. One shared that in the absence of regulatory guidance, they are “using as much of what already exists as a framework to hold ourselves accountable.” Several executives mentioned that transparency is key, with one noting that “anything that has GenAI usage in it is highlighted.”

Another CIO shared that they built an assurance framework for their machine learning initiatives that includes checks and balances and “do’s and don't’s.” They thought about possible biases and how to test for them and then applied this framework to Gen AI projects. 

One Gen AI use case that the panellists envision is the ability to deliver personalisation to customers – “right down to the individual customer.” One CIO noted that it was not possible before Gen AI to instruct a tool based on what they know about the customer and their connection to the brand to deliver the brand messaging in a unique context that speaks to that person. Some CIOs also see the opportunity to let customers create user-generated content leveraging Gen AI and that campaigns like that could particularly speak to younger generations of consumers.They believe that Gen AI can potentially harness the power of creativity to create more engagement with consumers.

  1. Building trust and transparency in the organisation and keeping control of the AI narrative

As they build use cases, CIOs are engaging with key stakeholders around their organisations to gain buy-in and build trust. They advised other technology leaders to “start smart” and to “get commitment from stakeholders and communicate to the business.” One CIO shared that they worked through an existing innovation department to partner on a use case for Gen AI. The leaders encouraged open communication and collaboration and found additional use cases and benefits through the partnership. They shared that “it was important to embed the Gen AI technology into digital roadmaps and considerations.”

Another technology executive said that they are working with a task force on Gen AI that has multiple functions represented on it, including legal, cybersecurity and risk management. They report that there is “capability building and democratisation across the business” if you bring others along on the AI journey. 

With regard to creating a code of conduct for Gen AI usage, some executives suggested this was a good idea for large companies. Or, if you have an existing code of conduct in place, it should be reviewed in the context of Gen AI usage. The CIOs agreed that the implementation of AI in your organisation should reflect your corporate values and positioning in the market. One CIO published a strategic update on Gen AI that featured “do’s and don’t’s” and an explanation of their approach to ethics, setting out what they want to use AI for and how it reflects back on the individual employees and the organisation.

  1. Ensuring humans remain central to this revolution

As CIOs conduct pilots, they are establishing the rules of engagement with Gen AI, and as one noted, the most important of these is “having a human in the loop.” CIOs agree that they are looking to elevate the collective intelligence and performance of the company, rather than replacing people. As one shared, their goal is to “augment the capabilities of an employee.”

Another executive said that human oversight and quality control are essential with Gen AI. CIOs are also trying to communicate how their use cases reflect corporate values and be as clear and transparent as possible about how AI may impact the workforce. 

As one executive summed it up, there is a lot of hype around Gen AI, and since the technology is evolving, it’s important to be cautious about the results. It’s necessary at this point to ensure you have enough testing and continuous oversight – and manage expectations internally.

CIOs can continue the discussion on AI and more key topics by applying to join a community of C-level peers. Or, if you are already a member of an Evanta CIO community, sign in to MyEvanta to sign up for your upcoming community programs.

by CIOs, for CIOs

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