The corporate landscape is undergoing radical change. Digitization is revolutionizing established business models and is changing ever more rapidly entire sectors. For example, since 2000, 52 percent of companies have disappeared from the list of the largest 500 companies due to the digital transformation in the United States. We are witnessing an unstoppable cultural change: new occupational fields are emerging, processes are being automated and the way we work is fundamentally changing.
The digital is learned and now a habit, the smartphone our constant companion. No doubt, computers and e-mail have revolutionized our communication and work practices. Nonetheless, in many companies there is little real movement on the way to digitization: important information and files remain in separate silos and are not available to employees. A confusing number of document versions as well as complicated filing structures make the collaboration unattractive.
It needs a “New Way of Work”
In order to continue providing successful products and services, companies must actively help shape the digital culture change. Their innovative strength can only be strengthened by making better use of the creative potential of every employee.
Information flows must be simplified and often spontaneous joint work promoted. This only works with new, agile ways of working, with which ideas can be quickly designed and developed. A “New Way of Work” project supports these developments in the modern workplace and actively supports them. The introduction of new tools specifically developed for better co-operation initiates the necessary cultural change in the organization.
The cloud promotes digital cultural change
Regardless of location and device access to all relevant data in the cloud is possible at any time. The mobile workstation becomes a reality without the hassle of installing additional software, remote access to the corporate network or updating licenses. In addition, many employees from their private lives are already used to dealing with cloud-based tools such as storage solutions or e-mail in the browser.
In addition to mobility, enterprise cloud applications have another advantage that is also clearly measurable. Workers spend up to eight hours a week searching for and gathering information rather than their actual tasks. If we ask ourselves what the digital future of our work might look like, there is an enormous potential for optimization right there.
Pure organizational work should be simplified and thereby accelerated. Our IT workstation, which has long had all the necessary data, should actively support us in administrative tasks, in the evaluation of data and in answering questions. This gives us valuable time back, which we can dedicate to the creative and content work. Artificial intelligence and machine learning, built into the tools used daily, are key to this.
Even meetings get new dimensions through the cloud. Video conferencing can be organized quickly and easily at any time and from any location, and additional participants can be brought in with just a few clicks. In addition, the execution in the browser simplifies the technical component – additional programs are not necessary. In this way, videoconferencing brings together colleagues from multiple locations to collaborate and be creative. Logs of these meetings can then be created together. Working on a common document simultaneously and in real time means that all team members can capture their thoughts at the same time. So good suggestions do not disappear in the meeting floor. Collaborative work thus gives each idea a space to grow. That means more innovation and faster results.
An illustrative example: the market research company Nielsen. Across national borders and time zones, projects are jointly processed and processes optimized via the cloud. The collaborative work makes employees feel that they are part of an efficient coexistence. The feeling of belonging to the 56,000 employees has increased worldwide.
In addition, we see that everyone in the organization addresses solution-oriented, responsible, and self-confident issues. This creates the strategic advantage for companies that employees collaboratively develop and implement ideas and strategies faster than ever before. Collaborative tools in the cloud bring colleagues closer together and create creative resources. Now companies have to initiate this cultural change. Because digitization starts from the inside.
To the author: Pascal Specht-Keller has been working for Google since 2012 in the area of corporate solutions. He is responsible for major G Suite customers in the DACH region. Before Google, he was head of a technology consulting division. Specht-Keller holds a master’s degree in computer science from the ETH Zurich and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago.