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An inside look at AI in the public sector

We interviewed Segment Director Kasper Lyhr to discuss how Visma is advancing AI technology in the public sector today and its future implications. Learn more about our ongoing efforts to develop products and strategies that drive progress.

As Segment Director of Visma Public, Kasper Lyhr helps Visma companies succeed in providing the public sector with state-of-the-art cloud products. He is responsible for 40+ companies with more than 4,200 dedicated employees.

In 2015, Kasper co-founded the GovTech spinout FirstAgenda. Over the next five years, he accelerated the growth of the company resulting in a successful acquisition process in 2020 where the company became part of Visma. Now, as Segment Director, he’s leveraging all of his experience to help Visma companies deliver innovative solutions to the public sector.

In this article, we sat down to discuss how Visma is advancing AI technology in the public sector today and what the means for the future.

Hi Kasper! Could you share some insights into Visma’s commitment to accelerating digital transformation in Europe?

Of course. We’re deeply committed to innovation, particularly in enhancing operational efficiency with AI. In recent years, digital transformation has moved from a strategic initiative to a central operational pivot across various sectors globally, with Europe being no exception. 

As Europe’s largest ecosystem of SaaS companies and a leading provider of business software, we’re helping to drive digital acceleration by integrating AI into our solutions. Our goal is to make societies more efficient. By leveraging AI technologies, we aim to address real, everyday problems faced by organisations in the public sector.

AI is definitely a hot topic today. Why do you think it’s a game-changer not just for the public sector but for all business software?

AI is essential for all business software because it boosts efficiency, accuracy, and decision-making. By automating routine tasks and analysing huge amounts of data quickly, AI helps businesses run more smoothly, predict market trends, and offer customers more personalised experiences. The best part? It’s not just limited to a single segment or industry. It’s a game-changer across the board, from healthcare to finance, because it drives innovation and gives companies a competitive advantage.

AI can also integrate natural language processing, meaning the system can understand, interpret, and generate human language, including the nuances of context, slang, and dialects. So, you can imagine the incredible benefits that type of learning and processing would add to business software – something that would once have required a huge amount of custom development. But, not anymore.

Learn how we’re using AI with great success in customer support

How do you think AI is transforming public administration?

Digitisation of public administration processes has been on the agenda for years. With AI, we take further steps in increasing public sector efficiency. AI plays a pivotal role by automating mundane tasks, and allowing professionals to focus on more complex challenges. This not only improves efficiency but also enhances the quality of service delivered to citizens as time is freed up for more Public-to-citizen interaction. Wilma in Finland and InSchool in Norway are both excellent examples of how we enable and support digital communication between public schools and private homes. 

All our software has at least one common goal: to make public administration processes better and more efficient. This is especially important as we see changes in population and a future where resources will become more scarce.

“Doing more with less is a mantra that every public administration is not only familiar with but also actively discussing. In an era of scarce resources and an even more challenging future, this principle has become essential for sustainable governance. And technology and AI is a part of the solution.”

Do you have specific examples of AI-powered Visma solutions for the public sector?

Absolutely, we have many good examples so far – with many more in the development stage. As of April, we already have 13 products with AI-powered features. That’s one third of all our offering for the public sector, and many more in production set to be launched soon. 

Take Ecare as an example. Here, AI helps detect loneliness and dental problems in the elderly population, for the caretakers to act accordingly. Or Flyt Helse in Norway, which uses an AI-based software for nurses to plan home visit routes automatically. The Flyt Route Planner has improved home nursing services by leveraging AI to streamline route planning and task assignments. The AI-powered application aligns healthcare professionals’ skills with patients’ needs, ensuring that the right caregiver attends to the right patient. Its intelligent design goes beyond efficiency.

Read more about how we’re tackling society’s healthcare challenges

We also have examples of more pointed software like ScanGo in the Netherlands. This product uses AI to detect and identify parking violators in real time and detect anomalies in public spaces, such as misplaced garbage and defective street lighting.

“Our focus at Visma on AI is intense. Looking ahead, our AI initiatives will not only make our operations more efficient but also drive significant innovations, ultimately enhancing the outcomes for our users and expanding the potential for groundbreaking solutions in our software.”

What do you see for the future of AI in the public sector?

We’re just beginning to uncover the vast potential of what AI can achieve. And AI’s role in the public sector is not just about enhancing current operations; it’s about setting the stage for a future where digital and AI-driven efficiency is the norm. As public sector entities continue to embrace these technologies, the benefits extend beyond mere cost savings, fostering a more engaged, satisfied, and productive workforce.

Do you see any specific challenges?

Absolutely. Integrating AI into public systems has its own unique set of challenges. Issues such as data privacy, potential biases in AI algorithms, and the need for transparent operations must be addressed. On top of that, robust security measures are essential to protect against potential cyber threats, ensuring that AI systems are not only effective but also secure and reliable.

“At Visma, we understand our responsibility as a technology provider to develop AI responsibly. It is imperative that our AI systems are designed to protect privacy and promote trust. And we are committed to advancing AI technologies that are secure, transparent, and aligned with the best interests of society.”

As we continue to witness the transformative impacts of AI, our initiatives offer a promising glimpse into the future of public administration – one that is smarter and more efficient, paving the way for a future where enhanced efficiency and responsiveness in the public sector are the norm, not the exception.

Learn more about how we empower more efficient societies