In the past, many companies looked at collaboration as a single capability. They would buy a collaboration tool — something they could provide through their IT departments to make their employees more productive and able to collaborate across distances.

Today and into the future, we have the opportunity to redefine collaboration, to make collaboration more immersive than a single tool or a capability. Taking this approach would mean using systems that are smart enough to take into account the needs of individual employees and that connect employees not only with coworkers but also with partners and clients in a seamless way.

“When you start talking about how the workplace is going to evolve, how the digital workplace is going to really change productivity, I think it’s about imagining,” says Marc Wilkinson, chief technology officer for Workplace and Mobility at DXC Technology. If the systems and applications around you were smarter, they could, for example, automatically realize that you are under a deadline, operating in creative mode and really should not be interrupted by an email message, he says.

Another key part of this approach is to ensure that employees get the right information at the right time to make better decisions. Context is a big component.

All of these elements should be interwoven in a workplace platform. This kind of approach to collaboration in the workplace helps employees feel they are at the center of the universe, similar to what is happening for consumers in industries such as healthcare. This helps employees be more productive, and it helps retain employees as well.

“Instead of being constrained by technology, people become empowered by it, become more productive with it,” says Maria Pardee, senior vice president and general manager for Workplace and Mobility at DXC.

It’s a new way of thinking of the modern workplace, one of personalized workplace experiences that bring people together.