Managing Partner, Beijing/Shanghai
Filip Van Elsen
Dr Ulrich Baumgartner
Catherine Di Lorenzo
18 March 2020
Digital transformation, built on IT cornerstones of cloud, mobile, social and big data, is affecting all industries.
Going digital is not just about making sales via mobile devices, or using Twitter to communicate with customers. Digital adopters are making transformational shifts in the way they: use data all across their businesses; carry out back-office functions; manufacture, store and transport their goods (including money); and approach and communicate with their stakeholders (from suppliers, to customers, shareholders, employees and even regulators). Some industries are seeing their businesses profoundly disrupted by new digital entrants (think what Uber has done to transport, or Amazon to retail), while for others, the imperative is to incorporate digital opportunities into their businesses to become more competitive within their existing markets.
No industry is being left untouched by digital, although some (eg financial services, healthcare, hospitality, retail, automotive) are moving forward faster than others. Agility and flexibility characterise successful digital businesses and many companies are struggling to keep pace with innovation and to engage the right teams within their organisations. However, the C-suite increasingly recognises the strategic necessity of embracing digitalisation, and digital strategy is a boardroom issue. Setting and implementing a digital strategy requires a host of interdisciplinary skills. Equally importantly, going digital requires a significant cultural shift in many organisations, particularly in the way they engage with third parties to deliver elements of that strategy.
Allen & Overy is an engaged and active player in the digital ecosystem. We work with companies at all stages of growth and development from established players with scale and pedigree, to emerging companies making a name for themselves through their energy and ideas. One of our particular strengths is navigating the cultural issues that can arise when large institutional organisations work with smaller digital players. Our lawyers are experts in working with our clients to produce consistent and risk-conscious results while preserving and encouraging the innovation, creativity and agility that these alliances promise. We have the ability to field integrated multidisciplinary teams to help clients smooth the path for digital projects. From anticipating regulatory hurdles, to protecting intellectual property, to motivating and retaining key staff and negotiating transactions with partners and suppliers, our team has experience of all aspects of the digital journey. We are able to draw on insights from across a range of industries to identify best practice and mitigate risks – we know the issues that matter, and those that don’t.
Download our Digital Transformation 2020 brochure, below.