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25th february 2016. The effects of what is known as the new digital economy can be currently felt in all of a company’s business areas, regardless of the sector or size of the company.

In fact, the democratizing power of technology has contributed to gradually reduce the gap between large and small companies, becoming a competitive value in itself.

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According to consulting firm McKinsey, opting for the digital transformation could increase a company’s growth by 5-10% in the next three or five years.

However, for this commitment to digital technology to be successful, it has to be aligned with the company’s true objectives and be present in its everyday activities. In that regard, new technological tools that connect and allow collaborative work among employees are especially significant.

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Ideas social networks create a work ecosystem that encourages creativity and innovation in an open environment.

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On one hand, this new work model promotes coordination and transfer of knowledge between different areas in the company that used to work with their backs to each other.

It also has a strong integrating effect in the workforce, equaling digital competencies from above and stimulating active listening of employee talent.

Lastly, tools like ideas social networks are a fantastic resource for senior management in outlining common strategic axes that culminate in a shared goal for the entire organization… or even for some outside the organization.

So, who can tell us better than our clients how our products or services should be?

Experiences in open innovation–opening up our business to external participation–provide us with innovative points of view, uncontaminated by highly assimilated internal processes, as well as a means to create loyalty among clients and consumers.

German giant Sap, who requested software development ideas from its clients; Lego, with a social network where its fans suggest new models for their toys, and Mutua Madrileña, whose clients suggest new products and services through an social network of ideas, are some good examples of open innovation.

But the number of examples is still limited. According to McKinsey, only 30% of companies currently have a true culture of collaborative work that allows them to take full advantage of their employees’ knowledge, a company’s prime commodity.

Making the most of this talent–often latent and waiting to be listened to–is a thrilling challenge and, above all, a unique opportunity that must be seized in order to open the door to more opportunities.

Bullet Find out more about ideas social networks.