The fourth Industrial Revolution has been in motion for several years, but COVID-19 has accelerated the pace of digital transformation and its importance to business. Many organizations had to move their workforce to remote working within a matter of weeks if not days and then quickly bring in new technologies and business processes to survive in the new dynamic. Unwittingly, we have made a leap forward by three to five years – all in a matter of a couple of months. As businesses start adapting to the new dynamic, digital transformation may well become a ‘must-do’ project for every traditional business in order to survive on the marketplace.
As Harvard Business Review points out, a company’s competitive advantage will increasingly be defined by its ability to shape and control digital networks. The companies that excel at connecting businesses, aggregating data and extracting its value through analytics and artificial intelligence will have the upper hand. In other words, digital transformation will drive the overall future value of an organization. Now more than ever, to compete in the ever-increasing digital space, companies need to understand how to adapt their current operating models to embrace technology
What does digital transformation look like for your sector or region? We examine this in our sector and regional insights in this online guide. While digital transformation is a top priority for most companies now, they often face challenges navigating the complex legal and regulatory obligations that come along with it. Digital transformation is a challenging process, requiring significant preparation. Each project needs to be tailored to the individual business, operating in a given marketplace. A ‘one size fits all’ approach will simply not work.
In this online guide, we share insights to help you avoid costly delays and compliance risks. Although it is not meant to deliver a comprehensive ‘recipe’ for transformation, it will give an indication of the type of issues and challenges which businesses will need to tackle during the process. As lawyers must collaboratively enable digital changes in an organization, we provide guidance on regional and national laws which govern online business, including data protection, e-privacy, consumer rights, intellectual property, competition and antitrust, and employment law. We look into the legal implications of emerging technologies and technological advancements, including robotic process automation, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, artificial intelligence and more.
For example, when contemplating a software implementation, businesses need to assess the flexibility of their own legacy IT systems and contracts, negotiate new agile software development contracts, and agree licensing conditions for the new software.
To give another example, one of the key issues any organization faces in the online economy is data protection and the use of data. It is getting even harder these days to keep up with local and regional regulations as well as regulations having extraterritorial implications. Hence, having a robust data strategy is key. As a minimum, companies embarking on a digital transformation program should make sure they have privacy law compliant data processing agreements including adequate cybersecurity measures.
Finally, artificial intelligence (AI) is another frontier which businesses need to examine from their own perspective. Artificial intelligence has a potential to become the most transformative technology of this century. In this online guide, we seek to explain some of the key legal issues that you will face when using AI technology – whether this is a product that you have bought from a vendor and use internally, or whether you are embedding AI in a product that you seek to take to your consumers on the market.
We hope this online guide provides you with useful insights into different elements and issues that your organization should look at before considering your own digital transformation path.