Digitisation and Digitalisation: What Means What?


Digitisation and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, they sound the same, but do they mean the same thing? No, not even close. Which is a prob­lem be­cause the Australian gov­ern­ment is try­ing to put to­gether a strat­egy for the dig­i­tal econ­omy and we all need to be on the same page.


What is Digitisation?

Digitisation is the process of con­vert­ing in­for­ma­tion from a phys­i­cal for­mat into a dig­i­tal one.

For ex­am­ple: John scans a signed NDA and saves this scan as a PDF. He then saves this PDF to his C drive.

What is Digitalisation?

Digitalisation is the process of lever­ag­ing digi­ti­sa­tion to im­prove busi­ness processes.

For ex­am­ple: Jane scans a signed NDA and saves this scan as a PDF. She then up­loads this PDF to the cloud so she can ac­cess the NDA any­time and any­where.

Digitisation Versus Digitalisation

In the above ex­am­ples, both John and Jane have digi­tised a part of their busi­ness process, but Jane’s busi­ness process is more dig­i­talised. She is lever­ag­ing digi­ti­sa­tion to im­prove busi­ness processes to a greater de­gree.

While dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion car­ries im­plicit pos­i­tive con­no­ta­tions, digi­ti­sa­tion does not.

Digitisation is an act that may en­able dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, but the lat­ter al­ways re­quires the for­mer.

Digitalisation ex­am­ple: meet­ing min­utes

Let’s look at an ex­am­ple. Imagine a busi­ness which holds morn­ing C-Suite meet­ings. Because the meet­ings are im­por­tant, every­one agrees that the CEO’s PA needs to take the min­utes. However, the at­ten­dees are split on how they should take and share the min­utes.

The CEO sug­gests the PA hand­writes the min­utes and then pho­to­copies them. The CEO claims this will be quick and easy.

The COO sug­gests the PA types the min­utes and then emails the at­ten­dees a PDF copy. It is harder to lose an email than it is a pho­to­copy, says the COO.

The CTO sug­gests that they cre­ate a morn­ing C-Suite meet­ing page and tem­plate on a SaaS ap­pli­ca­tion that ser­vices this need. This way every­one knows where pre­vi­ous min­utes are saved, can eas­ily ac­cess and share these min­utes, can add items to meet­ing pages, and link to meet­ings. But it is the most ex­pen­sive op­tion, con­cedes the CTO.

In some cases, the CEO’s low-tech sug­ges­tion is the best so­lu­tion, but this so­lu­tion does not en­able dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion. Conversely, the CTO’s sug­ges­tion, while the most ex­pen­sive, en­ables dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion. In most cases, this is prob­a­bly the best way to take and share the min­utes.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital trans­for­ma­tion is an­other word that ap­pears along­side digi­ti­sa­tion and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion. Basically, dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is the im­pact caused by the process of dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion.

Lets re­cap:

Digitisation is the process of con­vert­ing in­for­ma­tion from a phys­i­cal for­mat into a dig­i­tal one. When this process is lever­aged to im­prove busi­ness processes, it is called dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion. The re­sults of this process are called dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion.

For ex­am­ple, the in­ter­net has re­sulted in a dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion of the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try.

Digital ad­ver­tis­ing can be mea­sured more eas­ily and more ac­cu­rately than tra­di­tional ad­ver­tis­ing. A good ex­am­ple of this is mail (paper mail ver­sus email).

Paper mail (the kind that is stuffed in your let­ter­box) is a scat­ter­gun ap­proach for busi­nesses: you have no idea if you are wast­ing time and money. Email is the op­po­site, you know how many peo­ple re­ceived your email, how many opened it and what pieces of con­tent they en­gaged with. And that is only the be­gin­ning. When an email can cre­ate di­rect sales, a busi­ness can sim­ply track email sales. Plus, this ca­pa­bil­ity is built into most email clients (such as MailChimp).

Email mar­keters spend con­sid­er­able time look­ing over emails and com­par­ing per­cent­ages, and, as a re­sult, have a good idea what is work­ing and what is not work­ing.

As a re­sult, mod­ern cre­atives now need an an­a­lyt­i­cal mind. This is be­cause there is mas­sive po­ten­tial to cre­ate more tar­geted and per­sonal mes­sag­ing and thus, bet­ter ads.

Articles likes this in AdAge (Meet Today’s Analytic Creative) high­light the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion of the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try as a re­sult of the in­ter­net and what it en­ables, in­clud­ing so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing.

We Can Help You Digitalise Your Business

Custom soft­ware de­vel­op­ment is be­com­ing a ne­ces­sity in to­days glob­alised, dig­i­tal econ­omy. This is be­cause the in­ter­net has low­ered bar­ri­ers to en­try, mean­ing any­body any­where in the world can be­come your com­pe­ti­tion. In many cases off-the-shelf soft­ware does not ad­e­quately solve the busi­ness prob­lem. Businesses need to lever­age dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies to im­prove busi­ness processes, and the best way to do that is with cus­tom soft­ware de­vel­op­ment.

The ra­tio­nale be­hind off the shelf soft­ware has tra­di­tion­ally been cer­tainty of cost. We’ve aimed to clar­ify and cre­ate a trans­par­ent process around how to es­ti­mate the costs of cus­tom soft­ware.

The dan­ger all busi­nesses face is be­ing left be­hind by more in­no­v­a­tive and dis­rup­tive com­peti­tors. Digital trans­for­ma­tion, like the COO sug­gested in the first ex­am­ple, is a con­sid­er­able un­der­tak­ing and cer­tainly car­ries risk. Inaction, how­ever, is even more risky.

The more processes your busi­ness digi­tises, the more ef­fi­cient you be­come. It is only when your busi­ness has em­braced digi­ti­sa­tion and dig­i­talised all crit­i­cal processes (meeting notes are just the be­gin­ning), that you can con­sider your busi­ness dig­i­tally trans­formed.

The good news is any busi­ness can be dig­i­tally trans­formed. They sim­ply need to look for ways to lever­age or cre­ate tech­nolo­gies solv­ing prob­lems or stream­lin­ing processes. And here’s where com­pa­nies like WorkingMouse step in.

We are a soft­ware de­vel­op­ment com­pany with an im­por­tant dif­fer­ence - we share 4 stages of soft­ware de­vel­op­ment costs you must know. Unlike other agen­cies that hide their costs, we firmly be­lieve that the in­dus­try can do bet­ter by sim­ply be­ing ed­u­cated. Download our free soft­ware pric­ing guide be­low to find out.

Remember, digi­ti­sa­tion is the process of con­vert­ing in­for­ma­tion from a phys­i­cal for­mat into a dig­i­tal one and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion is lever­ag­ing this process im­prove busi­ness com­pet­i­tive­ness. The re­sults of this process are called dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion.

Whichever road you choose, buy­ing soft­ware or build­ing your own, good luck and happy trans­form­ing!

Discover Software


David Burkett

Growth en­thu­si­ast and res­i­dent pom

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