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Digitisation vs. Digitalisation: What’s the Difference?

Digitisation or digitalisation? The two may sound similar, they may sound like synonyms for one another, but they are very much different. They each have their own purposes and advantages, let’s explore.

This is the conversion of items, such as images, text and sound from a physical format to a digital form that can be processed by a computer. It is done with the intention of improving the efficiency of business processes. For example, scanning a signed, physical document and saving it as a PDF on your computer. That is digitisation in action.

Digitisation comes with a selection of advantages, including:

  • Recovery – Paper documents are susceptible to many disasters, they can be lost, torn, scrunched up, burned or simply thrown away accidentally. If all documents are converted to a digital form, then they are safe from all of these risks, and will always remain retrievable if stored safely in the cloud.
  • Interaction – Digital documents make communication with others significantly more convenient – be it via email, ERP system or collaborative working suite. Real-time access to these digital files with full audit tracking and version control makes collaboration a hassle-free experience.
  • Convenience – If all documents are converted into digital forms, everyone in the business can be given access to them. This makes working more efficient and will remove the stress of having to locate certain documents that could be anywhere in the building.

This is similar to digitisation, just on a larger scale. As opposed to converting individual items into digital versions, this is moving a whole business to function digitally. It includes digital transformation with the intention of improving company efficiency by using digital programmes to benefit workflow, indexing and much more.

Digitalisation also comes with many benefits, such as:

  • Accessibility – As the world becomes more reliant on technology, people require information quickly. Therefore, moving to a digital workplace lends itself to this need, as documents become digital and instantly available to all with permission. Filing cabinets may have some level of organisation, but instant retrievability thanks to OCR (optical character recognition) will make audits a breeze as well as improving customer service.
  • Opportunity – If a business is heavily digital, then it makes communication much easier for those inside and outside of the business. With your workforce using digital tools such as mobile devices and technologies that make them mobile and/or using social collaboration and unified communication platforms, productivity will thrive as this creates new opportunities to engage differently.
  • Automation – By introducing digital workflows to a business, what were manual tasks can now be automated. Not only does this improve efficiency and productivity, but it empowers the modern distributed workforce and all its wider benefits. This streamlining removes wasted time and its associated costs.

How digitised is your business? Find out here.

Date: 8th March 2021  |  Author: Kamran Bashir