With the ongoing upheaval of COVID-19, companies have turned to digital transformation to reorient their companies and turn to alternate ways to conduct their business operations. However, the increase in attention towards this field has engendered various questions, with the most popular being: what is the difference between digitise, digitalise and digital transformation (DX)?
Digitisation and Digitalisation: They Are Not Spelling Errors
Digitisation and digitalisation don’t mean the same thing, though they are closely interrelated.
Digitisation refers to the conversion of the physical work into digital work. It includes the process of going paperless – converting the physical space of the office into a digital workspace. This means processing physical copies of files into PDFs, and storing them on digital platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft One Drive. Digitising your files makes it easier and more accessible to sieve through information on your computer – and even your phone – as long as you have internet connection and the correct login credentials. What is even better is that it eliminates physical storage space in your office, saving money and allowing your company to dedicate more space to more important functions. On its own, digitisation merely transfers everything online.
Digitalisation, on the other hand, is a product of digitisation. It deals with the aftermath of digitisation, where all documents are located online. In the adaptation of work into the online realm, digitalisation then enhances the online workspace by introducing cloud-based management systems. Rather than relying on traditional methods of communication in the physical office, these cloud-based management systems transform the operational structure of the office, making it more efficient. For example, with human resource (HR), this management system enables better engagement with employees – monitoring attendance, leave, workflow, and their development throughout their projects. Hiring is easier – with one simple click, job vacancies are quickly posted on various sites, and potential employees can be tracked in one unified dashboard. By streamlining information in one single database, information is no longer stored and controlled by a single person or department. Rather, people granted with access to such information can gather it anytime on their own accord – allowing the company to dedicate these manpower resources to other areas for innovation.
What about Digital Transformation?
Digital Transformation is the amalgamation of digitisation and digitalisation. It combines various digital technologies – including cloud storage and databases, SaaS, IaaS, APIs, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things – into your business, changing the way it operates. With digitisation and digitalisation, digital transformation occurs.
With digital transformation, the mechanisms that undergirds the company’s business structure and operations are fundamentally reshaped and redesigned. This means that the way you operate your business, create new products and deliver services change. Beyond that, cultural habits must change. With the reformation of digital technology, companies must be willing to step out of their comfort zone and experiment with the unfamiliar. It is only when companies become more comfortable with failure, success will eventually come knocking at your doorstep.
The Problem with Digital Transformation
According to McKinsey, a whooping 70% of digital transformation initiatives fail. Despite endless endeavours, the painful reality is that there are still various factors such as insufficient employee management and inadequate management support that impede the road towards a successful transformative journey.
Notably, this can be attributed to the ambiguity of the word “digital”. Evidently, "digital” has different implications for different groups of people. From a simple reference to going paperless, to the mechanisms of machine learning, artificial intelligence and internet of things, to creating a completely self-sufficient and codeless software. “Digital” does not capture the nuanced differences between digitisation and digitalisation; instead, it lumps these definitive categories together.
These differences have the potential to change the route of digital transformation. Changing your software alone is not enough to kickstart your journey towards digital transformation.
The Formula for A Successful Digital Transformation
Capitalising on isolated elements – software, experts, a cohesive blueprint – are not enough to precipitate a technological revolution. Instead, its success demands the synthesis of the right expert with the right software, as well as understanding the technological climate to accommodate the client’s desires.
Experts have the technological know-how to deal with software. However, in this technological milieu, versatility and agility are equally valued as well. These experts must understand the business environment they are immersed in and possess foresight to navigate through obstacles while applying their design and technological thinking. They must be fast and independent learners, upskilling themselves according to the demands of the industry.
Furthermore, companies must select the right business model to operate, providing a digital structure that is scalable, versatile, secure and low-code such that it is adaptable to various technological circumstances – especially those that may be unforeseen. It must also be easy to integrate with other third-party platforms and APIs – this collaboration will open the door to other business opportunities as well. More importantly, experts must be able to adapt and create these models within days – not months or even years. In the age of digital transformation, advancement waits for no one.
ODES, The Start of Your Digital Transformation
With this, ODES is ready to help you kickstart your transformation journey. Our experts are equipped with the digital know-how to expedite your business development; after analysing your business operational structure and understanding your pain points, our experts will provide your company with a digital blueprint – a smart solution – to improve your operational processes. With the right support and guidance, your journey will undoubtedly become easier. Contact us to reap the benefits of digital transformation today!
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