26 Jun

Six Months In as CEO of Mesh-AI: Mike Chalmers on the future of data & AI transformation

Tom Jenkin

Back in January, Mike Chalmers joined Mesh-AI as CEO. After a busy first six months, Mike shares his insights about what he’s experienced so far and his vision for the future. 

What brought you to Mesh-AI?

I have spent the last decade working with enterprise customers to transform them into digitally enabled organisations. However, it became clear that their data was holding them back – despite presiding over a wealth of data, many struggled to harness it for real business value. 

That’s where Mesh-AI comes in. The Mesh-AI team has the expertise to transform enterprises through people, process and technology, turning them into data rich organisations ready to unlock AI at scale. It’s an incredibly exciting time for me to join the company and continue helping organisations transform their data and AI capabilities.

Where do you see the future of the business? 

Everyone is talking about AI right now and for good reason, but I'm a firm believer in putting that focus on getting your data foundations right first. Without that, you will never be able to deliver value effectively and will struggle to get business buy-in to make your ambitions a reality. The investment into AI could be wasted and you’d be setting unrealistic expectations. 

It’s our mission to make sure that these larger enterprises don’t get left behind. The way they operate needs to change so we work with our customers to get them AI ready, reimagining how they operate to make their data and use of AI their competitive advantage.

What’s the biggest issue facing the market right now?

Our customers know that AI can reap big rewards, but it’s clear they face mega challenges when it comes to effective implementation. For many, it all comes down to their data. They might have issues such as data infrastructure, data quality, transparency and accessibility but also people challenges, such as fostering a more data-driven culture or achieving buy-in across the business.

Bridging the gap between ambition and realisation requires fundamental changes in how organisations approach data. Adopting a decentralised and democratised approach, such as data mesh, enables enterprises to treat data more as a product, facilitating widespread innovation and advanced AI use cases across the organisation.

I’ve also seen customers struggle to define a strategic link between AI use cases and business outcomes. Our conversations consistently revolve around achieving tangible results such as revenue growth, cost savings and risk reduction. Simply embracing AI for the sake of innovation is not enough; we must focus on how AI can become a powerful driver for sustainable success. Without this strategic link to demonstrate value to the business, it becomes difficult to achieve buy-in and justify the investment in AI. At best, it becomes a siloed element of your tech stack instead of a cross organisation capability.

In order to support them, we’ve recently launched a new readiness assessment tool: DARA - Data & AI Readiness Application. Using DARA we can map out where our customers are on their data and AI journey and work together to navigate their transformation journey.

As a CEO, what is important to you?

We were at the AWS Summit at the start of June, and I still can’t believe how much our brand stood out! It’s really important to me that as a business we don’t stop and stand still - we keep moving and continue to find ways to stand out in this market. Over the course of the next few months, we’ll be looking at taking our branding to the next level.

It’s widely discussed that the tech industry needs to work hard to attract talent from different backgrounds. Building a diverse workforce, in all senses of the word, continues to be one of my top priorities as we continue to grow and make sure our culture is one where people feel respected and valued, while also able to make a real impact with their work. In fact, one of the first things we did when I joined the business was revisit our values to make sure they properly reflected who we are and want to be. 

We’ve also reached 100+ Meshers! This has been an amazing achievement and one that really comes down to the incredible talent we have in the organisation. Since day one our team has been dedicated to delivering market-leading outcomes for our customers through data and AI, while fostering an open, innovative and inclusive culture within our company.  Continuing to attract the right top talent and nurturing their skills is a hugely rewarding part of my role and I’m looking forward to seeing the business grow even further. A massive thanks to everyone at Mesh-AI for their impact - it really does make a difference! 

We have a proven track record in reimagining how enterprises operate, making data and AI their competitive advantage. Need help turning your enterprise into a data-driven and AI-enabled organisation? Get in touch with us here.

Also, take a look at our AI & ML accelerator to supercharge your transformation efforts.

I’d also recommend a listen to our podcast on Generative AI and the role of Regulation and its future. And have a read of our blog on The Most Powerful Data Trends Enterprises Need to Know About.

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