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In brief

All industries, in particular the manufacturing industry, are in or on the verge of a data‑driven transformation. The future is indeed digital where data and analytics play a crucial role in unlocking value.

While data is regarded with ever-increasing importance in manufacturing, many companies still struggle with establishing the frameworks and foundations necessary to manage their data and launch the opportunities provided by digital transformation. Strategic conversations across corporate functions are particularly critical to ensuring a balance of business purpose, risk management, and maximizing benefits of data while an enterprise establishes or refines its data use frameworks and controls. Once an enterprise has established its own frameworks, it can also explore data sharing between companies and organizations, which can also have a multiplier effect in unlocking value.

The opportunities of data-driven transformation are significant, but additional use of data will also raise additional legal and risk management considerations. We regularly work to assist our clients with identifying and mitigating risk with a view toward facilitating the opportunities presented by data-driven transformation.

In order to assist our clients and our discussions with clients, we created an interactive tool that is aligned with the legal framework for some of the key considerations presented by additional use of data, specifically with respect to antitrust, intellectual property and data protection. This innovative tool allows clients to self-test their readiness, from a legal standpoint, to enable unlocking additional value from data.

In more detail

As the data revolution spreads through the global economy, companies are collaborating in complex ways in order to increase productivity, facilitate agile supply chains and operations, improve customer experiences and achieve long-term societal impacts and environmental benefits. For this purpose, companies will need to employ a large variety of data both within their own enterprise as well as in collaboration with third parties, which will be an imperative for success.

Recent global disruptions and economic strain have further heightened the importance of data, and the need to maximize the extraction of value. The value of using data for companies lies not only in growing customer satisfaction and gaining an advantage over competitors, but also in reducing costs and increasing profits. The benefits are also evident in more efficient and agile decision making for management.

In the logistics industry, for example, any disruptions that occur, such as shortages, can be predicted in real time and delivery reliability can be improved based on improving the ways in which an enterprise uses the data it currently has available. Manufacturing companies that need to adapt quickly to changing market demands can accelerate manufacturers’ supply chains by leveraging data. Data facilitates the implementation of new business processes and the development of new products and services according to the market’s customer needs.

While unlocking data value, it is a key priority to consider legal and regulatory requirements. The more data an enterprise produces and uses, the more potential there is for risk of violating data protection guidelines, requiring careful IP protections or – in case of sharing of data – experiencing antitrust challenges.

In order to assess overall compliance in relation to the management of data, especially data sharing, Baker McKenzie has developed a tool, the Data Business Booster (“Tool“), for companies to use in making their own assessments of the current state of their data management and protection. The Tool shows the degree of maturity level in five different stages and provides concrete recommendations for action. This scale ranges from ‘no awareness’ to ‘full action plan needed’, ‘some actions are still to be taken’ and ‘no action needed’.

The Tool is fully modular, so that companies have the freedom to select the matters to be assessed (e.g., privacy/data sharing readiness, privacy/organization readiness, antitrust/Data and market characteristics, IP/Trade Secrets, etc.). The Tool deploys a series of questions and generates a report flagging issues and identifying critical measures on how to improve legal strategy.

The current version of the Tool provides a robust focus on privacy, intellectual property and antitrust matters, which we consider to be three critical areas when using data. We continue to further develop the Tool and will incorporate other areas of law in future versions (e.g. contracts, corporate, company governance, tax).

The preliminary assessment performed by the Tool is not a substitute for a detailed and thorough legal advice on the subject, taking into account the specifics of the company’s business activity. However, it does enable companies to have an overview of their maturity level from a legal standpoint.

Companies will be able to use this Tool to assess their current maturity level and define a path towards the development of successful data ecosystems.

You may contact us at any time to have more information or a demonstration of our Data Business Booster tool.



Florian Tannen is a partner in the Munich office of Baker McKenzie with more than 10 years of experience. He advises on all areas of contentious and non-contentious information technology law, including internet, computer/software and in particular data privacy law. Before joining the Firm, Florian worked for two major law firms and a large US-based technology company.


Alexandra Coti is an Associate of the Baker McKenzie's Paris office.

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