Nenad Avlijaš, Director, ASW Inženjering:

Data Makes Money

Artificial intelligence is becoming the next transformational force in our world, and this revolution can only be used by those who collect information about their daily operations

The most important branch of artificial intelligence, machine learning, provides the opportunity to unlock and exploit knowledge hidden in this information, thereby increasing companies’ profitability.

The industry you belong to is developing at the speed of light. Would you say that your company and your creative staff monitor trends?

– ASW and its team are at a world-class level when it comes to monitoring IT trends, incorporating them into products and providing customers with solutions that improve their business. The best example confirming this statement is the formation of our laboratory for machine learning, which we stepped into during the era of artificial intelligence. A system has been developed that provides our clients with the creation of new values by using the history of their business expressed through large amounts of statistics. Applying mathematical algorithms to such data provides deep insight into existing business processes and provides extremely precise predictions for the future.

What is the environment in which the IT sector is developing in Serbia like? What are the comparative advantages of your company?

– The domestic business environment doesn’t sufficiently stimulate the development of the IT industry and I’m afraid the IT sector is turning into a market of cheap labour, while creative young engineers leave the country due to a lack of development projects that would represent a challenge.

In my opinion, the state is the largest investor and user of IT, and as such needs to develop a strategy based on infrastructure development projects, which should engage our own resources, thus preserving autonomy with the applying of own software products in key functions of the state. In this way, the state would preserve its creative personnel and enable the sales of such products on world markets.

ASW’s comparative advantage lies in the fact that it has evolved conceptually from a project-based to a production-based organisation, which is crucial in the IT industry. We develop our software products, plan their content and distribute them to our clients. The formation of our machine learning laboratory is the result of a tendency to keep pace with innovations.

Our products and solutions have a lot of experience and knowledge built in from many years of work that we now place at the disposal of our clients, thereby becoming consultants in their business.

Machine learning is part of the artificial intelligence process in which machines develop intelligence by learning independently from the data and making decisions on the basis of what has been learned. The management of the company receives an irreplaceable consultant who is in a position to anticipate and measure every combination to which a particular decision applies

It is less known that you were one of the 25 young “geniuses” who 33 years ago created the software for the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. How would you compare that time to today?

– We were a respectable team of engineers who developed a very complex product, and we were not geniuses. On the contrary, the availability of information favours today’s generations compared to us back then.

It was a good strategy to implement such a complex project with domestic resources and create new values that remain here or are sold to others. Our Olympic Committee sold the software to the next host of the games, Calgary, and some members of our team became highly respected IT experts of the International Olympic Committee, and remain so to this day.