If it’s not digital, it’s an antique. Businesses who don’t have a digital-first approach will be left behind. The digital landscape continues to evolve on an almost daily basis. The 3 main concepts encompassing the digital era we now live in are Digitisation, Digitalisation and Digital Transformation. Many people often get confused between the terms and assume they all mean the same thing. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Let’s start with Digitisation
Digitisation is pretty simple to understand, anything that turns into bits and bytes is considered digital. But by definition, and according to Gartner, digitisation is the process of going from analogue to a digital form – also known as digital enablement. Think about scanning a paper document into a digital format.
Historically many organisations, (particularly across law, insurance, finance etc.) have been documenting their data and information in paper format. We don’t want to get into a debate about the death of paper-based processes and paperless businesses, but in defence of digitisation:
- Storing documentation digitally means employees can have instant access to information anytime, anywhere
- Physical documents in an office, or work bag increases the chance of security breaches (lost, copied, stolen, read by someone that shouldn’t have access). With the right access set-up and cyber security solutions in place, digital assets are safely secured
- With the right back-up and disaster recovery solutions in place, digital assets are impervious to physical disasters
Moving onto Digitalisation
When digitalisation is adopted, according to Gartner, businesses are using digital technologies to change the current business model to ultimately result in new revenues and value-producing opportunities.
We previously mentioned digitising paper documents into files, so digitalisation would come into play if say a business wanted to take a cloud based approach to hold all of their data. Other examples can be sending emails instead of post, or having a video call instead of a face-to-face meeting.
There’s been a major rush to the cloud due to the pandemic, and it’s a perfect example of digitalisation across many businesses who are transitioning their business processes into the cloud. Gartner estimates that by the end of the year, cloud spending will grow by 23% due to emerging technologies.
To summarise, digitisation is all about information, whereas digitalisation refers to processes. And it’s important to differentiate between the two because whilst it may seem they overlap, both require different resources, methods and tools. So how does digital transformation fit into all of this?
Last but not least… Digital Transformation!
As more and more digital technologies have emerged, the term digital transformation has taken different turns, and it’s often mixed up with digitalisation.. But digital transformation projects are strategic and includes all aspects of the business such as customers, strategies, applications, employee enablement, new models etc. whereas digitalisation would just be applying technology into the existing business. Business can leverage digital transformation to expand into new markets, offer new products/services and attract new clients.
Digital transformation also isn’t a journey that businesses take that’s triggered by technology, there’s always a root issue that needs to be solved. In many cases, that usually starts by thinking about the customer and how the approach can be transformed. That’s why the efforts in such a large project involves the wider company, including senior leadership and heads of departments.
Whether you’re looking to digitise, digitalise or invest in a digital transformation project, contact our team today.