Dr. Pietro Brambilla heads the Digital Transformation team for Integrity & Legal Affairs within Daimler AG. A lawyer by training, he is a tech enthusiast and digital evangelist. Together with his highly diverse team he drives the development and implementation of the Digitalization and Innovation strategy for Daimler’s Legal, Compliance and Integrity functions since 2018. Pietro also serves as the Business Information Security Officer and the Data Officer for the Integrity & Legal Division within Daimler.
Pietro started his career as a litigator with Daimler in Germany. From 2012 to 2017 he worked in the U.S. where he spearheaded an Information Governance initiative for the region.
Pietro holds a Ph.D. from the University of Konstanz in the area of climate change law.
He has published different articles on innovation and the transformation of the legal sector and its impact on corporate legal departments and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
Tell us about yourself?
I was born and raised in Germany to Italian parents, laying the basis of my identity in these two different cultures. I’m a lover of learning and studying. I enjoyed roaming the bookshelves at the library during my years at university. Then came the Internet with its greatest gift - the democratization of information. I feel truly blessed to live in an era where thanks to modern technologies we now have the worlds’ knowledge at our fingertips.
I‘m a father of six with two sets of twins - so there is always a lot of action around the house. In my spare time, you will usually find me playing with my kids, working in the garden or spending time in nature with my family.
What led you into the world of Information Governance (IG)?
My early years as a litigator led me into the world of Information Governance especially when I took over more and more of our US litigation docket. You have to know that until the advent of the GDPR in the European Union, Information Governance was not very common in Germany. It was a small group of people that was interested in IG, mainly from companies that had a lot of exposure to Common Law countries. The rest kept hoarding information. I assume it’s my affinity for processes, structure and organization supported by technology that attracted me to this domain and led me to introduce it in my own field of work.
Tell us about your current role in IG?
My current role as Head of Digital Transformation is probably not a typical IG role but it touches many aspects of Information Governance, such as knowledge management, data analytics and ediscovery. As Business Information Security Officer I lead the information security strategy for the Integrity & Legal division and provide a bridge between the centralized security function and the business on information security aspects. The Data Officer role involves defining and driving the data strategy for the Legal and Compliance function.
What pressures are organizations facing to ensure IG best practices?
I see the pressure coming from three areas in particular:
- Technology and the speed and rate of change we are experiencing and have to keep up with. We live in an area of exponential technological change that heavily affects the speed at which business has to operate. I like to refer to this as the transition from working at the speed of paper to operating at the speed of (structured) data. And IG has to adapt and support this transition.
- Dealing with the ever-increasing complexity of the regulatory framework. In addition, technological change often runs ahead of legislation.
- We are also seeing challenges in the workforce area. Change is a fundamental element of our new reality. The transformation is constant and therefore the need for adoption is permanent. We need to continuously learn new skills and gain new knowledge but we also need to be able to unlearn what is no longer helpful.
What are the biggest developments you have seen in the IG?
The traditional records and information management area has evolved to a more multidisciplinary information governance domain that is integrating and merging more and more with the growing area of data governance. This convergence of the area of information with data has led to new ways of working and the emergence of new roles that will continue to develop as technology advances.
How have you adapted since COVID-19?
When COVID-19 struck, we basically had to transition overnight to a “remote only” working arrangement and we have been working this way for nearly 20 months. It has required a lot of reflection and change but I’m actually getting used to it and I wouldn’t want to go back to the way it was before. I used to commute at least 90 minutes per day. Apart from the time I’m saving there is also a significant ecological benefit reducing my commutes. As the pandemic begins to ease I’m looking forward to getting back together with my entire team in person but I’m also excited that we now have the opportunity to design a hybrid model that works well for the entire team.
Do you have any tips for someone starting out in IG?
I have already mentioned the convergence of information and data as one of the major developments I see in this domain. What I would recommend for somebody starting in IG is to gain what I call “data literacy”. With this, I don’t mean being able to code, but you need to have a general understanding of how information is being processed today and the potential that new technologies offer. I can recommend the HarvardX “Introduction to Digital Humanities” course on the MOOC Platform edX as a good source to increase what I call “data literacy”.
But most importantly, follow your passion and never stop learning.
With the rapidly evolving technologies and digital disruption, where do you see IG heading in the next few years?
We live in a time of radical transformation, be it the colossal undertaking of decarbonizing our economy or the digital revolution. The IG industry will not be immune to these dramatic changes. Just picture the increase of digital information across the globe. It has grown nearly 50 fold in 10 years to over 50ZB (zettabytes = 1021 byte) in 2020 and will continue to grow exponentially. We will need new approaches in managing the information lifecycle. Artificial Intelligence will certainly be a key component in this but we will need to be able to understand it and maintain control.
Why is it essential to be a member of InfoGovANZ?
I’m a big believer in community building. For me the value of being a member of InfoGovANZ lies in being part of a community of like minded people that are focused on sharing knowledge and creating valuable exchanges. InfoGovANZ is not just a network but a strong community of IG experts and enthusiasts, willing to invest their time and contributing in shaping the future of Information Governance.