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Digital business transformation: the role of legal

Take aways from the transformation of Lufthansa AirPlus Servicekarten GmbH

Digital business transformation, agile project methodology and the introduction of cloud applications are developments that legal departments have increasingly been confronted with in recent years. Using a case study, this article describes the requirements needed for an internal legal department and an external legal advisors to successfully handle these matters. It also recommends practical advice.

A comprehensive digital business transformation represents a huge challenge to all affected business areas. Indeed, this redefinition of the relationship between a company and its business environment is difficult, as it is often accompanied by changes in the structures and processes of an organization.

The disruptive effects of said projects do not recognize the borders of a legal department. These consequences can permeate all areas of business, and as such they require: interdisciplinary working groups, conceptualizing solutions in a constantly changing and agile environment, parallelizing processes, and integrating contracts into ERP and CRM systems. The relentless nature of day-to-day business and staff shortages has increased the pressure on legal departments to meet the new requirements associated with transformation projects as efficiently as possible.

Similarly, Lufthansa AirPlus Servicekarten GmbH is in the midst of a comprehensive digital business transformation. Information technology is being revamped by migrating a self-operating and non-standardized IT landscape to external cloud applications.

In addition, the customer relationship is being completely redesigned through the digitalization of all processes, coupled with a reduction in the number of customer contracts used worldwide. Currently there are around 1,000 different contract templates. These will be reduced down to a single standardized contract template. The aim is to create a better foundation for faster, cheaper and more diverse products through standardization and automation. This will serve as an effective way to support an expanding business strategy.

In their article "Accompanying a digital business transformation from a legal point of view - a case study", (printed in IT-Rechtsberater, issue 3/19, p. 66 et seq.) the two authors examine challenges and strategies for the implementation of a business transformation project.

The authors give an insight into their daily work and describe how a complex project can be successfully managed, both from the point of view of the in-house lawyer responsible for the client side (Roland Paschek, Director Legal Lufthansa AirPlus Servicekarten GmbH) and from the point of view of the main contact person at an external law firm (Dr. Till Contzen, Deloitte Legal). It is suggested that the practical tips distilled from this concrete case can be transferred to the planning and monitoring of similar projects.

Article

This article was published in the IT-Rechtsberater, issue 3/19, p. 66 et seq. in German language.

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