Are You Confusing Digitizing and Digital Transformation?
Two terms that managers, decision-makers, and many others are using incorrectly with greater frequency are “digitizing” and “digital transformation.” While both terms relate to IT and the transition to a 21st-century business model, they speak to different aspects of it. If you’re looking to apply a digital transformation that will revolutionize your business, then mere digitizing will fall short. But before getting moving on to that, it’s essential to explain what these two terms mean.
What is Digitizing?
Digitizing is the process of moving previously physical goods and services into a digital environment. Good examples of the practice include:
- Replacing paper with computer documents, touchscreen devices, etc.
- Introducing electronic payment in lieu of cash, and replacing card payment with online or one-touch payment
- Moving music, film, and other media into digital formats, such as replacing CDs and DVDs with streaming and downloads
- Making the shift from the physical storage of data to cloud storage
It can also be a more incremental process that introduces digital elements into physical goods. E-cigarettes are one example of this phenomenon. In general, digitizing uses technology to improve functionality, performance, and efficiency. Rather than representing any radical or fundamental changes, it enhances that which already exists. A taxi company that makes an app has applied digitized but has not undergone digital transformation.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation represents a fundamental shift in the way a business operates. Significant operational changes to accommodate the potential of new technology are part and parcel of this process. This is because a transformation challenges business strategists and thinkers to reassess the basic assumptions of their model and seek improvement anywhere that it may exist. As part of a successful digital transformation, a business might use information technology to power agile workflows in place of traditional models.
If a warehouse replaces manual labor with a fleet of robots that a few managers guide and assist, that is an example of digital transformation. Digital transformation is also revolutionizing banking and finance, as big data is driving institutions to reconsider the way they interact with clients. Uber’s disruptive business model was transformative when the app first went live.
The people behind Uber weren’t taxi drivers, but innovative thinkers who created a unique business model that maximized the benefits of technology. With a contractor-based employment model that incorporated GPS, Google Maps, and other features, it sped past the stagnant competition.
The Fundamental Difference
Digitizing uses technology to improve what already exists, while digital transformation changes what exists to maximize the potential of technology. Whether your business is interested in one or the other, it’s important to avoid confusing the two.
In an industry where digital transformation is the new normal, mistakenly settling for simple digitizing could leave your business at a critical disadvantage. If you’re interested in learning more about which of these processes is right for your business and how to execute the transition, please contact us.
Develop a Digital Strategy with SovTech
The SovTech team consists of experts on digitizing, digital transformation, and software development. After a consultation with us, you’ll have a firm grasp of what IT can do for your business. Learn more by getting in touch with us today or reading other posts on our blog regarding digitizing and digital transformation.
SovTech is a custom software development company providing a complete software design and development service. We design, build, deploy and maintain innovative custom software that gives our clients the opportunity to start, run and grow world-class businesses. SovTech believe technology will be at the core of businesses of the future. We aim to connect businesses across all industries to innovative software, technological development, solutions and services, in a manner that’s faster, easier and better than ever before. To date, we are operating across continents and have offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, London and Dubai.
SovTech’s expertise lies in
- Custom Software Development
- Mobile & Cross-Platform App Development
- Product & Interface Design
- Dedicated Software Development Teams
- Elite Cloud Hosting
- Software & App Maintenance
To get started with a project contact SovTech today.
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