Rapid technological advancement has changed the world; we are now in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (also known as Industry 4.0), where technology, like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Internet of Things, have blurred the lines between the digital, physical and biological spheres. As the corporate world shifts to accommodate these exciting features, words like Digitisation, Digitalisation and Digital Transformation are used frequently. But what exactly do they mean, and what is the difference between the three?
Digitisation refers to the conversion of information from non-digital to digital formats. The process of using available technologies and information to drastically improve the efficiency of a business is known as Digitalisation.
On the other hand, Digital Transformation is what happens when the business model and operations are digitally transformed in line with digitalisation. In other words, you will first need to digitise, then digitalise, and finally, digitally transform to build a digital business.
Put your new knowledge to the test! Do you know which of the following are examples of Digitisation, Digitalisation and Digital Transformation?
All students at Gen Infiniti Academy must sign their attendance sheet as proof of attendance for the class. After students complete the entire run, Gen Infiniti Academy collects the attendance sheets and scans them, saving them as PDF documents.
All members of the Gen Infiniti Academy team are required to download an app. The app allows team members to apply for leave, mark attendance, record MCs, and more. These can be submitted by individual members and will be sent to the necessary personnel accordingly. Team members can also easily communicate within and between departments, upload files onto the shared cloud for general or restricted access, and access their email using the app.
A member of the Gen Infiniti Academy team applies for leave via the app used by the entire team. The leave application is digitally sent to the HR team. After the HR team processes their application, it is stored in the cloud. Upon approval, both the team member and their boss are immediately notified through the app.
Example 1 refers to Digitisation because the collection process (i.e. signing of attendance sheets) has not changed - they have simply been converted to digital format.
Example 2 refers to Digital Transformation. This is because the change is effected throughout the entire business and its operations, not only for one specific section.
Example 3 refers to Digitalisation. The change made in this example improved efficiency and minimised time wasted on paperwork, but did not result in a change in the business model.
Now that you understand the differences between the 3Ds, think about where you are at and what you can do to digitally transform yourself and your business. Plan out a digital transformation road map, which should include digitising processes, training yourself and/or your employees in digital skills, and reevaluation of your business model to stay relevant in Industry 4.0.