We often mention Digital Transformation when talking about digital initiatives. On some occasions we refer to it as Digitisation, in others, we call it Digitalisation. Yet sometimes we say Automation. Some even still call it Computerisation. Confusing, right? We are all guilty of using these terms loosely. Digitisation, Digitalisation, Automation and Digital Transformation do not mean the same thing.
Let’s break each term down to get a better understanding.
Consider this. There was a time when we all wrote letters using pen and paper. But then we switched to using Microsoft Word for the same. This is Digitisation. We converted information from analog to digital form. Other examples are soft copies of invoices, purchase receipts, and bank statements. Remember, when we digitise, we only convert information from analog to digital form, but no changes have been made to the process itself.
It is only once we start using email instead of mailing printed Word documents that we have truly Digitalised the communication process. We have now made the process more efficient, information tracking easier and faster, and as a result, we have created value by using technology.
Going a step further, you all may have put an automatic reply email like an “out of office” while taking a holiday. That is automation of the communication process you had digitalised in the last step. Now Technology is doing the job of informing people that you’re not around for the time being.
4. Digital Transformation
Using our email example, we really got used to, and even loved email. This led to threads and threads of emails running and it worked well – until it didn’t.
This led to a need for instant messaging, better collaboration and video calling from a single interface. Step up Zoom and Microsoft Teams and with that workplace communication achieves Digital Transformation.
This was achieved by reinventing the way we interact with our colleagues and customers by using the power of Technology. In this case, we haven’t just changed something from analog to digital, or changed the process from manual to automated. We have fundamentally transformed the way we collaborate and communicate.
Let’s recap. Digitisation is your digital paper, Digitalisation is faster, reliable, and more efficient paper, Automation is reducing human intervention in predictable and repetitive tasks. Digital Transformation, however, is reimagining your business models, bringing in a cultural change in the organisation, building Digital Capability of the workforce, and providing a truly delightful customer experience by creating value using Technology.
Digitisation, Digitalisation, Automation and Digital Transformation are all steps in your Digital Maturity journey. You cannot take the next step until you have taken the one that comes before. You need to put computers on the desk before you start sending out emails, and you need to set up email before you can think of configuring automatic replies. Only once you’ve followed these steps is when you can truly expect your people to embrace and internalise virtual communication as the new way of working.
To better understand where your organisation is on its Digital Transformation journey, take ActionPoint’s Digital Maturity Assessment and receive a report based on your answers that will provide you with a Digital Maturity Score and recommendations for improvement. You can take the survey, here.