Research Programme "Digital Transformation"

The Federal Council has decided to research the opportunities and risks for Switzerland in the area of digitalisation. An exciting initiative and a topic that many companies have been dealing with for a long time. In our latest blog post, you'll find a few thoughts on this topic.

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Research Programme "Digital Transformation"

Just under two weeks ago, the Federal Council decided to launch a new National Research Programme entitled "Digital Transformation". A budget of CHF 30 million is being made available for this purpose. With this programme, the Confederation wants to develop "knowledge about the opportunities and risks of digitisation for society and the economy". The programme will focus on the following three thematic areas:

  1. Education, learning and digital change
  2. Ethics, trustworthiness and governance
  3. Digital economy and labour market

The Federal Council's media release of 21 September 2018 states that one aim of the programme is to understand the necessary conditions for successfully managing the transformation to the digital world. This is undoubtedly a good idea. It is somewhat surprising that such a programme is coming so late. Many sectors of the economy have been dealing with this issue for a long time. Numerous jobs have either disappeared or changed fundamentally due to the automation that has already taken place. Many companies - including SMEs - are exposed to the digital transformation and have had to reinvent themselves in some cases in order to survive in the market. Just ask the retailers... A simple walk through the former shopping streets of the cities is enough to realise that nothing is the same as it was 5 or 10 years ago. 

The Confederation is now addressing this issue in greater depth. It is praiseworthy that the risks should also be taken into account accordingly. Where Facebook data is misused or company data is hacked, this is certainly a sensible position to take. Nevertheless, it is to be hoped that the threat posed by large data collectors such as Google, Amazon and Facebook will not lead to regulations that will ultimately hinder innovation because small start-ups will not be able to overcome the major hurdles.

We believe in the positive aspects of digitisation. And we also firmly believe that the conditions in Switzerland are excellent for successfully mastering the challenges it presents. We are following the efforts of the Swiss government with great interest and look forward to making an important contribution to the digital transformation as a consultancy firm in the field of legal and business processes.

In the field of legal services there are many innovative companies with great products. With the help of the right technology, lawyers are increasingly able to concentrate on their core competence and the exciting aspects of their work. Clients no longer have to pay for repetitive work steps for which the lawyer is not really needed. Technology has other advantages. A computer is known to process data much faster and more precisely than we humans do. The right software brings additional insights (business intelligence): If you have a better understanding of your own business and the market around it, you can adapt your services accordingly. Especially for structured processes (e.g. in the areas of M&A, contract management and compliance) there are already very good and helpful tools.

Digitalisation means a head start. This is especially true in the world of lawyers. 

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