What Is Digitization?

Today, digitization often used interchangeably with digitalization.

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The root meaning of digitization referred to transforming analog materials into digital forms. Scanning paper records and storing them in digital format is one example.

However, because the world is rapidly evolving into a digital one, the meaning of this word is also evolving.

When it’s used in the same way as digitalization, it often refers to concepts such as:

  • Transitioning from analog technology to digital technology
  • Transforming to digitally-enabled business models
  • Creating digital-centric, integrated workflows

At the heart of the term digitization is “digital,” one of the most popular concepts in today’s marketplace.

It refers to the current digital revolution – also known as Industry 4.0 – which many liken to another industrial revolution.

Because today’s economy is driven by technology, many businesses understand the need to digitize.

Yet why do we need a term such as “digitization”?

Why not simply use terms like “software deployment” instead?

The crux of the matter lies in the fact that digital enables entirely new modes of operating and working.

Consider an analog business that uses fax machines, land lines, paper documentation, and desktop computers.

This type of business would represent one end of the digitization spectrum.

At the other end, we would have fully digitized businesses, which could:

  • Implement mobile apps to enhance productivity and collaboration
  • Use e-learning software such as digital adoption platforms to improve training
  • Take advantage of digitally-enabled business practices, such as agile and lean workflows

At this end of the spectrum, we have a fully digitized business that reaps many benefits from digital technology. And, as we can see, these benefits go far beyond simply using software.

In today’s environment, digitized businesses gain a significant advantage over companies that aren’t as digitized.

As we move further into the future, however, digitization won’t just provide competitive advantages – it will become a matter of survival.

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