Automation in the Nordics: How to Solve the Challenges

By: Megan Shaw

According to the European Commission’s 2018 Digital Index, the Nordic region is currently at the forefront of digitization across the EU. Whilst the Nordics are highly digitized in terms of connect and the uses of the internet, global technological advancements have become centered more closely on Intelligent Automation. In order to remain at the head of the revolution, the region will have to address and then face Nordic specific challenges. We spoke to leaders in the field of automation from across the region about how the biggest challenges of automation adoption in the Nordics can be faced and solutions that can be offered.

1. Regulations

Automation developments throughout the Nordic region are continually met by an array of government regulations. Though regulations can have a detrimental impact on the potential of automation, Margit Møller, an RPA Product Owner at Forretningsoptimering Nykredit, believes that regulations should not be seen as a challenge. Instead the relationship between RPA and regulations should be seen as a positive. Regulations work to ensure that automation products are made and function to the highest level and automation programs can ensure that regulatory requirements are met. Where regulations were once seen as a hindrance to Nordic automation, Møller believes facing the challenge from a different perspective offers a solution.

"We have a lot of regulations in Nordic Countries. However, Regulations are not in themselves a problem for Implementing RPA" 
Margit Møller, Forretningsoptimering Nykredit

2. Public Attitude

Mikkel Folmø, the Head of Office at the City of Copenhagen IT Group, spoke to us about the extent of digitization and automation across Denmark and the Nordics. Automating the public sector is completely necessary in delivering the best service for the people. However, the amount of data and information held by these systems can be intimidating for citizens to say the least. Creating an understanding of the technologies used in the public sector and educating the people involved would help to nurture a positive relationship between the two.

"I think, actually, a good thing for us in Denmark is that we have a long tradition of using digital solutions in the Public Sector."
Mikkel Folmø,  City of Copenhagen IT Group

3. Falling Behind

Nordic countries are beginning to fall behind in developing new automation technologies and systems, according to Anne Håkansson, an AI researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology. In order to stay at the forefront of the digital revolution an increased amount of effort should be put into researching and developing services that are ahead of the game. With such a reliance on digital services in the public and government sectors, implementing new technologies would have a vast and instantaneous impact on the Nordic infrastructure. The Nordic region faces the challenge of falling behind but with recent investment in educational and research programs throughout the Nordics, the prospect of innovation no longer seems like a challenge.

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