Briefing webcast: considering the cloud-first era

Bernhard Waltl|Legal operations officer, BMW Group

Karen Jacks|Chief technology officer, Bird & Bird

Mike Creffield|Business manager, EMEA, NetDocuments

Reem Khurshid|Editor, Briefing

In this Briefing webcast, hear how the legal operations team at BMW Group is part of a committed cloud-first push for the confidence to pull on “a single source of truth” facilitated by a common platform approach across this 130,000-strong company.

Berhard Waltl explains that technology is no longer a factor limiting his team’s ambition to deliver as a “digital-first legal department”, with the ability to handle full document lifecycles, including collaboration with law firms and other external parties. The ability to invite people into a reliable and secure data room setup to progress both litigation and transactional work puts the department on the digital front foot as an enabler for other parts of the business. Waltl says the single source of truth goal will also be vital in laying the ground for any efforts to unlock operational efficiencies using artificial intelligence in future.

However, while cloud-focused technology partners can also help a business to keep up with any emerging vulnerabilities and respond to growing risk proactively, Waltl says it’s the business that ultimately remains responsible for how cyber risk is handled. This relies on investment in robust process, and people with the requisite skills and awareness.

Karen Jacks, chief technology officer at Bird & Bird, points out that IT strategy and its resourcing become more complicated the more that cloud and on-premise products are meshed together. On-premise systems still offer value – they shouldn’t necessarily be written off yet as ‘legacy’ – but exciting new tech coming to market is inevitably cloud-first.

She agrees that a trusted cloud provider can help a firm to scale on its digital journey, but is equally clear this can’t replace its own intense risk management efforts. Specific clients can also sometimes prove a blocker to change through greater cloud adoption in some areas, she says. As a result, firms must be very clear how they’re mitigating any perceived risk with a combination of tech, process and people (for example, through educating with a regular programme of phishing campaigns).

But in fact, well managed, a cloud platform that effectively introduces and offers incentive for fresh ways to collaborate should prove a win for closer client relationships. With the necessary lawyer buy-in to replacing email for project comms, it can be a convenient platform to establish systems for tracking work’s progress and pushing out updates (which can potentially be tailored to client requirements). It can also be less resource-intensive as a space to trial new client service innovations in a cloud environment.

Or, watch the webcast on Youtube.

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