Digitization and digital transformation – what is that?

What is the difference between digitisation and digital transformation?

Digitisation means that a work or workflow is made paperless. But without changing the workflow. An example of this is when the documents of an office are stored in the folder of the computer’s database instead of the folder on the shelf. The workflow has not been changed: It’s been digitized.

Digitalisation has already been completed in many areas of our lives: For example, when we buy electronic tickets and use them to board the plane. An electronic ticket is the digital copy of the original paper ticket – it is its “digital twin”.

The booking process has become much faster. People used to wait a long time for a ticket at the airport counters. Although today, the ticket is stored in the cloud instead of printing it out as a paper ticket, the process: “buy-give-a-fly” has remained essentially the same.

Digital transformation, on the other hand, also changes the process by which something is done

The digital transformation thus goes far beyond digitisation. Now that many processes have become paperless, the process flow is also changing. In the digital transformation, old business models are changing fundamentally.

First they were digitized, i.e. paperless

Now the entire process is also changing: it is being “digitally transformed”. One example of this is the book market. First the books were digitalised.

The course of business has changed completely, with online home shopping – where the book is downloaded to an electronic device – and the book is now available for purchase from home. The buying and usage behaviour of books has been “digitally transformed”.

According to forecasts, all areas of our social life will undergo a digital transformation in the future.


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