Scientists agree that, 13 700 million years ago, the universe was created after the Big Bang.  Long after that, another big explosion based on a 0 and 1 sequence happened in our world: the Internet.

The network of networks derives from project ARPA, a secure communication system that was devised at the request of the American Department of Defense as a way to interconnect the diverse academic and state institutions. This exercise in collaboration changed the world as we knew it in just a few decades. Internet was the first step towards digital transformation, the originator of a new global paradigm in the field of communications, and of a new society as a whole.

Innovation = work-life balance

Digital transformation and innovation are two interdependent concepts. For a company, investing on a better, more innovative technology goes inevitably hand in hand with process digitalization, both new and already stablished.

According to the Digital Transformation Index report, only 5% of companies have incorporated digital transformation as an intrinsic value. This study, conducted all over 42 countries, shows what is a reality: organizations that promote innovation become a model for their competitors sooner or later, which are compelled to follow their example.

It’s not by chance that most innovative companies technologically speaking, like Google, Amazon or American Express, are also in the ranking of best wokplaces. Those who comprehend digital transformation and turn it into a distinctive trait, also understand its potential for both improving business and attract the best talent.


When does digital become really disruptive?

Digital transformation is not a disruptive concept anymore, but only a priori; in reality, it has still great potential to be so in many ways. For instance, computers were introduced to business world decades ago, but their role has changed stepwise until becoming an indispensable tool in the workplace. And it has become something disruptive because digital transformation has been increasingly altering the whole business value chain, even sectors where it seemed unthinkable or unnecessary years ago.

We have the example of previously mentioned leading technology companies, which had it “easier” when incorporating the value of digitalization because they were born already with that feature. But even those have evolved. During their trajectory they had to enhance, adjust or fine tune systems that worked properly, but not excellently. Here is where the relationship between collaborative tools and work-life balance is brought into focus.


Collaborative tools devised towards balance

Information, communication and synergy are the values written on digital DNA and, therefore, on different applications that enable collaboration among professionals.

The cloud was born to help us stay informed. This sort of unlimited warehouse allows for sharing, reviewing and using diverse files where, how and when we want it. The most known applications are One Drive, Google Drive and Dropbox, although large companies usually adapt a space within the cloud for internal management.

Also promoting communication, we can find Slack, Microsoft Teams, Hangouts and other conversational collaborative tools. Physical presence regarding meetings, presentation of success stories or implementation of new corporate strategies, becomes almost unnecessary.

Finally, we have those applications that make synergies possible. Google´s document processor or Microsoft’s Office Online are editors that we already know, and they allow modification of texts, presentations or spreadsheets by several people at once.


The future of collaborative tools, not the present

All these applications are great breakthroughs themselves. They’re, however, part of daily routines in many organizations. That’s why, when previously speaking of disruption, we highlighted the idea of staggering digitalization.

A short-term future step lies in merging the three main features of collaborative tools in one. Even though we’ve seen some improvements, like WorkPlace by Facebook, common standards must be achieved: every tool and application should speak the same language.

According to a study by Harvard University, more than 1 500 companies consider essential to add a new factor into the equation: artificial intelligence.

AI in corporate DNA

Alexa and Siri are existing examples of Artificial Intelligence. They know our tastes, our digital print on the Internet, our motivations. In a short time, this technology is expected to be a tool that contributes to be aware of an employee’s strengths or even his schedules and preferred habits, but also his interests in order to find kindred or complementary collaborators.


Digital transformation, but with a balance

If companies want to exploit breakthroughs in digital collaboration, they must understand the goals of their professionals. Collaborative tools are devised to improve their productivity, but to respect their work-life balance as well. This not only improves their quality of life, but also their commitment with the organization they belong to.

Understanding digitalization this manner is a perfect way to move towards a common goal.  Isn’t common understanding the ultimate aim of collaboration, then?

Sources:  Editorial Blackie Books, Retina, Harvard Business Review, Editorial RBA Bolsillo