Why Digitization Isn’t Enough: The Difference Between Digitization, Digitalization and Digital Transformation

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The Exela Blog

Why Digitization Isn’t Enough: The Difference Between Digitization, Digitalization and Digital Transformation

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by Lauren Cahn

The revolution is here, and it’s digitized,” we’ve heard it said. At Exela, we see that as an understatement.

What is digitization?
Digitization, which refers to the conversion of data into digital form, captures things precisely as they are. It facilitates efficient and effective data storage and preservation and enables remote data sharing, and perhaps most importantly, puts data in a form readily available for analysis, insight, and coming up with actionable intelligence.
Example of digitization: scanning a piece of incoming mail to create a digital image that’s usable for Optical Character Recognition (OCR engines) (which is the first step in Exela’s Digital Mail Process).

What is digitalization?
Whereas digitization is a crucial first step, digitalization is the harnessing of technology to allow interaction with data in newer, better, and faster ways. Digitalization allows your spreadsheet to add up the thousands of numbers in, say, Column E. It turns the document you’re writing into a file you can send to your customer across the globe via email. It makes email, itself, possible.
Essentially, digitalization is the use of digitalized data to automate business functions and communications. But it’s is not the endgame. In fact, there is no endgame. Instead, there’s digital transformation.

What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the harnessing of both technology and human ingenuity, skill, and talent to revolutionize business for both the company and the customer. It encompasses digitization, digitalization, and the integration of systems—sometimes through the adoption of new technologies and always through an overall human vision and commitment to that vision by enterprise talent—to create enterprise-wide synergy.
The goal of digital transformation is enhancing efficiency, increasing productivity, improving the customer experience, and boosting revenues. Unlike digitization and digitalization, it can’t be accomplished as a single project, is aimed at full-on system integration, requires enterprise-wide buy-in, and must also take into account the needs and expectations of customers.

So, yes, the revolution is here, but it’s more than digitization or even digitalization. It’s digital transformation.
Here’s why we think you’ll want to join.



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