Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization

I came across three words related to transformation in the digital age; Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization. These words were quite confusing especially Digitalization hence decided to explore the definitions and real-life meaning. Here is what I learnt in the process and will love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the practice of leveraging emerging technologies to build new business systems, business models, consumer & employee experience, or to change current ones to address increasing industry and market needs.

Digital Transformation is focused on CX, EX, Business Systems and Models
Digital Transformation is focused on CX, EX, Business Systems and Models

Digital transformation goes beyond conventional systems such as distribution, marketing, and customer support. Instead, digital transformation starts and ends with the way you think about customers and the way you engage them.

Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization

Since all of these words have “digital” in them, they must be the same. Wrong. These words define and describe three different things and are not interchangeable. Let’s take a brief look.

Digitization

Digitization is the transition from analog to digital. Not that long ago, businesses had paper accounts and ledgers to keep track of their activities and transactions. The business data was analogous, whether handwritten in ledgers or typed in documents. You dealt with physical documents, such as papers and binders, Xeroxes, and faxes, if you wanted to gather or share information. Digitization is the process of converting information into a digital format as per TechTarget

Another great example is our videos in VHS to CDs or DVDs and audio in cassettes to CDs and eventually MP3. Computers became popular, and several corporations began turning all those paper and physical documents into digital data archives. The method of transforming material from analog to digital is called digitization.

Digitalization

This one is very confusing for me at least. For some, it means Digitization and for some digital transformation.

As per my understanding Digitalization enables and improves business processes by leveraging digital technologies e.g. APIs, big data, cloud etc. Digitalization is not about changing the way you do business or creating new business models. It is about making everything quicker and easier now that the data is readily available and not stuck anywhere in a rusty folder in a file cabinet or a homegrown database server.

In the example of customer support, Digitalization has fundamentally improved operation by allowing consumer information simple and fast to access via the device. The simple customer support approach did not shift, but as scanning paper ledgers became substituted by inserting a few keystrokes on a computer screen or mobile app, the procedure of answering a query, looking up the appropriate records, and providing a response was far more effective. It has not changed how you provide support by using new platforms like social media etc.

As per Gartner Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.

Closing thoughts

Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization
Digital Maturity: Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization

Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization are all steps in the right direction at different times with different outcomes and value. While Digitization initiates the journey, Digitalization accelerates the business systems and makes it easier to access information. It is Digital Transformation that enables the end to end game that every organization needs to win it’s customers, employees and investors.

Recommendation

The companies who are just happy with Digitization or Digitalization are the ones that will not be able to compete and stay in business for the long term. Even if you are not competing with Amazon, Uber or Delta but your customers and partners are learning what good CX looks like and they expect the same from you!

Go Directly for Digital Transformation as Digitalization is partial and digitization is too basic. Digital transformation strategy and tactics will enable all you need for hacking growth via great digital experience and business models.

What is Digital

You must have heard people claiming that the world is going digital. Well, have you ever wondered what is digital? Every single aspect of our lives is slowly evolving and stepping into the modern era of the digital revolution. The world is gradually becoming paperless, and every single activity is now carried out via technology, smartphones, and the internet. From necessary communication to overseas conference calls, websites, apps, television, etc. the world is run on digital advancements.

Today, we will discuss what is Digital, how it is changing our world. Once you thoroughly understand what is digital, you will understand how to use it to your advantage, and how is digital changing the businesses around the globe.

Role of digital in our life
(Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-holding-laptop-beside-glass-wall-1181316/)

Textbook Definition

Basically, a digital system can only differentiate between two values or two states: off and on. These are represented with the help of 0 and 1, respectively. Nowadays, every piece of machinery and equipment is digital in nature and uses 0’s and 1’s to store, manipulate, and retrieve information. You can read more about the history of digital here. We can spend a lot more time discussing what is digital but let’s try to understand it using real-life applications.

what is digital
(Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-woman-writing-on-tablet-computer-while-using-laptop-4348401/)

What Is Digital Evolution’s impact on Business World?

For some business and technology leaders, it’s more about the technological infrastructure, while for others, digital is a new form of customer engagement especially if they are in digital or marketing. Some business owners perceive digital as a whole different way to do business. None of those concepts are incorrect.

Let’s take a look at how the digital advancements are impacting the customer relationships, engagements, and user experience or in other words how is digital is changing our world

Reinventing Business Frontiers #Disruption

Some business owners employ modern digital practices to investigate new demographics and engage with them. Reinventing the business frontiers have become more accessible, quicker, and more accurate with the help of digital devices.

Digital systems offer the power of evaluating new investment sectors and communities and also highlights the possible opportunities, threats, and competitors in the field. Moreover, some businesses are employing data science practices to understand the precedents and the past of the sector to come up with profitable strategies for the future.

The exploration of business frontiers has also allowed businesses to offer a better user experience. For instance, in the automotive industry, companies are now using digital devices to provide in-car entertainment, automated navigation systems, and even automated driving systems. The reinvention of the business frontiers allows businesses to point out the flaws in the existing business models, restructure them, and offer a better user experience for maximum customer engagement.

Big data, analysis, and data science algorithms allow businesses to reevaluate their current impact on the audiences, restructure the business strategies, and enhance user journeys.

Restructuring Value of Core Business #BusinessTransformation

The next aspect of digital technology is to reconsider how modern technologies will be utilized to change the way consumers are engaged, served, and benefited.

This is embedded in a fascination with knowing every phase of the buying process of a customer, regardless of the medium, and talking about how digital technologies will develop and offer the best product experience in all areas of the market. The digital era offers new ways to serve customers and enhance their overall interaction with the business.

For instance, the supply chain is essential to the advancement of consistency, quality, and speed to produce the best commodity effectively in a manner that the consumer needs. At the same time, data and analytics should rely on delivering information regarding consumers that, in effect, control and drive decisions regarding promotions and revenue.

The digital revolution is all about introducing a cyclical environment where systems and technologies are continually changing depending on consumer feedback, promoting sustained product or loyalty. Everything comes together to enhance user interaction with the company and also boosts the company’s revenue by increasing customer loyalty and identifying more opportunities to serve them better.

Offering Fast Work Process #Agility

Digital technologies allow companies to become faster, quicker, and more agile in terms of serving customers and identifying market needs. Being modern is about leveraging data to make smarter and easier choices, delegating decision-making to smaller teams, and finding even more iterative and simpler methods to do stuff. This way of thought will not be limited to only a couple of roles. It will provide a wide variety of how companies work, including innovative collaborations with external firms to broaden the requisite capability.

Look at how computing, computing, infrastructure, technology development, installation, continuous integration, and everything else has changed due to cloud services from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Netapps, and many more. How building websites has changed by companies like Wix, e-commerce by Shopify are some of the everyday examples I come across. What used to take years two decades ago, months in the last decade; can now be done in days.

Another way of looking at it is from the viewpoint of modern devices and networks that allow the users to interact with the companies quickly. Back in the day, everything took weeks, and it took weeks for companies to reach out to their customers. However, with modern digital platforms and devices, the companies can freely and openly interact with their audiences in a matter of seconds.

Redefining Customer experience #CX

The old and traditional methods of engaging customers are changed and have been tailored to offer an enhanced customer experience. A prime example of this experience is available at Amazon, Uber, Zappos, Delta, and many more.

With the help of modern digital technologies, companies can now understand what the users want and offer it to them individually. This means that if one group of users want to see sci-fi movies, while others want to see history movies, digital technologies can understand this, and offer a personalized and tailored GUI for these groups. Prime daily life example is Netflix, Hulu and many others.

Moreover, you can use technology to enhance the overall level of customer satisfaction by allowing them to interact with your social media platforms, customer service platforms, and finding new mediums of contacting you.

New Customer Experience
(Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-holding-tablet-computer-3082341/)

Closing Thoughts on what is Digital

Digital continues to change how customers behave and businesses work. It all began with ones and zeroes in 1703, but it has come a long way!

Today, modern digital technologies allow companies to understand better new sectors, existing demographics, customer journeys; to offer a new level of customer experience, interaction, satisfaction, and explore new business models and markets.

I hope this offers a quick view of what is Digital and how is digital changing our world. Will love to hear your thoughts on how digital is changing the world and especially the one that you live in?

History Of Digital

History of Digital and Transformation it has enabled

If you look around, you will see that every single aspect of our modern world runs on electronic devices. The core of everything is ones and zeroes nowadays, and the world is on a path of aggressive modernization and digitization. This was not the case for the last century. We have come a long way, and today, we will decipher the history of digital and the revolution it has created.

Ones and zeroes have become the building blocks of modern technological advancements. Moreover, digitization has led humanity to new heights of prosperity, progress, and success. From landing on the moon to creating social media platforms for billions, digitization plays a vital role in every aspect of human lives.

From smartphones to personal computers, from tablets to gaming consoles, everything runs on ones and zeroes. However, this was not always the case. Let’s take an in-depth look into the history of the digital era.

History of Digital 1703 – 1847

Yes. The birth of the digital era took place in 1703 when mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz developed the modern binary number system and published it under the name “Explication de l’Arithmétique Binaire.”

In the year 1847, Boolean algebra was born when George Boole published “The Mathematical Analysis of Logic.” The book would later become the foundation for a new field of mathematical logic using the modern binary number system. In his words, “The respective interpretation of the symbols 0 and 1 in the system of logic are Nothing and Universe.”

History of Digital 1937 – 1969

In 1937, Claude Shannon established the foundation for digital circuits in his Master’s thesis at MIT. He came up with a method of implementing Boolean algebra and logic to enhance the design of relays used for routing switches in telephones.

In 1947, John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley invented the first transistor at Bell laboratories, which changed the course of history forever and opened a new window to the digital future. This was among the most important inventions of the century. This semi-conductor device replaced the giant vacuum tubes and offered a simpler way of amplifying or switching electric signals.

In the year 1950, the very first series of pagers were introduced for physicians in New York City. Pagers showed a new mode of communication with the help of wireless telecommunications devices. These pagers could receive a message within 40 kilometers of the nearest transmitter tower.

In the following year, 1951, the first commercially available computer, Britain’s Ferranti Mark I, was delivered to Manchester University. This computer was created for simple arithmetic and data handling. Several other companies released their versions of general-purpose computers, such as UNIVAC, EDVAC, and LEO, etc.

In 1969, the precursor to modern-day internet was born, and it was named ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). The first message that was transmitted via ARPANET was “LO.” A student, Charles Kline, tried to send the word “LOGIN” to the other computer, but after LO, the receiver crashed.

History of Digital 1971- 1984

The very first email was sent out by computer engineer Ray Tomlinson to himself in 1971, and it read “QWERTYUIOP.” This laid the foundation for the modern email and data exchange protocols observed by the majority of email providers.

1975 saw the invention of TELENET, the world’s first commercial packet-switched network. This was the first version of the internet, and it connected company computers to other systems all over the world.

In 1981, the laptop computer was born. The 8/16-bit Epson HX-20 was invented in 1981 and was commercially sold in 1982. The screen was a little bigger than a matchbox (120×32-pixel dot-matrix LCD). The screen only displayed four lines of text at a time. It came with 16 KB of RAM (expandable to 32 KB).

In 1984, the very first mobile phone was launched for 4,000 USD. It offered only 30 minutes of use after a 10 hours’ charge. However, it laid the foundation for modern cellular and smartphones.

History of Digital 1989 – Present Day

Thanks to Tim Berners-Lee, in 1989, the “world wide web” was invented and thus born the modern internet. He was working at CERN at the time, and he created the system to facilitate the automated information-sharing among different scientists.

In the following year, 1992, dial-up internet and modems became public, and everyone was introduced to the joy on the internet. We all remember the era of unplugging phone lines to use the internet on our personal computers.

In 1994, the very first smartphone was introduced to the public, and it allowed the ability to place calls, send a fax, retrieve emails, and send text messages to others. It was known as IBM Simon Personal Communicator, and the battery only lasted an hour.

In the year 2000, Broadband was introduced in the UK, and a new form of internet connection was introduced. People quickly started replacing their dial-up modems for Broadband modems.

In the year 2003, Skype was launched. This was the very first medium of video conferencing and communication between people. It quickly became popular, and there was now a new medium of communication.

Facebook was launched in 2004 and became the number one social media platform for years to come. It gave birth to a new age of social media communications and earned millions of users within a few years of inception.

Did you know that the first iPhone was launched in 2007? The first iPhone also resulted in a sudden and an immense surge in the usage of smartphones. It sold over 6.1 million units all over the world and established Apple as the best brand for smartphones for a while.

In 2011, Bitcoin made history by becoming the first widely accepted fully digital currency. When Bitcoin focused on modern encryption technologies to offer a form of wireless currency, it became all the rage, and people started investing in Bitcoins.

2016 was the year when Facebook released the virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift, to consumers and set a new age for virtual reality applications.

Closing Thoughts

We live in an age of 4G (soon to be 5G) networks where we can watch or access anything from all over the world within a matter of milliseconds. Everything is available on the internet nowadays, and you can communicate with your loved ones from thousands of miles away.

From a mere email conversation to significant business decisions, everything is done via digital mediums. It all began with a binary number system, and the modern digital advancements are not showing any signs of slowing down for decades.

Hope over fear

In this time of fear and chaos, I have a choice just like everyone else, every day, every minute and for almost everything. The choice is to choose hope over fear or fear over hope.

I have a choice to choose hope that me, family, friends, and community will stay safe or fear and worry about who in my circle may be infected with Coronavirus

I have a choice to choose hope that there were will enough groceries for my family or fear that there will be no supply left and I must hoard.

I will take this as a great opportunity for my family to be together all the time for the next few weeks or worry that WFH and kids Learning from home (LFH) will create chaos at my home.

I will take this as an opportunity to serve my circle in need instead of fear and worries on Coronavirus that pushes me hard to just think about me and my family. I have the choice to act one way or another both offline and online.

I choose hope over fear!

Times of change

The major issue with what we are facing in the moment of change is that we see it as a problem! Perhaps, we probably have dealt with these particular circumstances that appear perplexed and more we think about it more challenging it seems.

However, in the truest sense, it isn’t a headache. This is just a transformation of the way something used to be and this is definitely a thing that we can adjust to. Ultimately we will find how to address it successfully or live with it peacefully.

Once we have this attitude, now we are self-advised to perceive this experience more about adapting to new than fixing certain problems. Once we start seeing it that way; Observe! the whole situation is getting to look much simpler and brighter.