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Digitize vs Digitalize: The Difference And Lead The Change

Digitize vs Digitalize: The Difference And Lead The Change

Sura Aydin
July 27, 2022

What is Digitizing vs. Digitalize?

Digitizing involves converting analog data into a digital form. In other words, digitizing content is the process of converting physical documents to digital formats. Digitization can be accomplished by scanning hard copies of documents and then saving them in an electronic format such as PDFs.

Digitalizing, on the other hand, is converting analog data into a digital form while also applying digital processes such as compression, encryption, or error correction to the resulting digital signal or data stream. Digitalization can be applied as digitally starting and finalizing the documentation process and receiving the outcome as a digital copy. Which means digitalized documentation does not require extra effort and does not include hard copies.

In essence and shortly, digitizing is the process of converting analog data into digital information. Digitalization is the process of converting data from one medium to another.

This guide will help you know what digitizing and digitalizing mean and identify points that you digitized but not digitalized in your business. Noticing allows you to change difficulties and replace them with more beneficial ways.

Why does digitalization matter?

When digitizing the documents, you convert physical documents into a digital form. This conversion process may be done by scanning or inputting the data by hand. You can think of it as photocopying to the computer or phone. Unfortunately, digitized documents are not originally digital; it is not possible to collaborate on, edit or redesign them.

Digitalization is the transition from analog to digital. The process of digitizing content is the conversion into a digital form in terms of how you collect and create the data output. Since the process itself is digital, employing digitalization, you would not need extra effort for scanning or photocopying.

Digitalizing is crucial because it is more accessible to share, store and access across different devices. It also provides a more accurate representation of what is being digitized and helps in preservation in the long term.

Digitalization has a number of benefits for businesses. Digitalizing documents is a great way to save time and energy. It can give companies an edge in the marketplace and help them stay ahead of the competition. It also provides an opportunity for organizations to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. A well-grounded company will also lead the trust in the field.

Noticing the Difference

It is essential to know what needs to be digitized and what needs to be digitalized. Digitizing something is the action of converting images and other media into digital files. Digitalizing something is to convert the process and produce outcomes in digital formats without needing to create it as hard copy. 

Let's look at a clear example; you have an old picture from the 60s, and you are worried about losing it somehow. To avoid that, you scan the image and archive it in your personal files. But if you want a picture at this current time, you wouldn't take an analog photo and then scan it and store it. (of course, unless you are interested in analog photography) Instead, you could just use your phone, tablet, camera, etc., have a digital outcome, and you can share, edit and store it digitally. If you really need the physical photo, you would print it. However, usually, digital format is enough. We have already digitalized the process of taking pictures as devices with cameras have become common. We rarely digitize the pictures today. 

In this example, scanning the old picture is a form of digitization. You make the data (i.e., photo) digital through some tools (i.e., scanner). On the other hand, taking pictures with a digital tool is an instance of how this process is digitalized today from start to end. You create the data digitally (i.e., taking the pic on mobile) and archive it digitally (i.e., storing the pic in a driver or cloud).

Suppose we apply this example to documentation processes. In that case, it is not uncommon to see businesses create hardcopy documents, fill and sign them with an ink pen, scan them, or even send the paper with a delivery company to another branch or business partner... This is a very long process; even writing and reading are time-consuming in this blog article. Digitalizing the documentation process is the ultimate solution for catching today’s needs.


All in all, digitalizing is different from digitizing even though it sounds alike, and sometimes this similarity leads to confusion for many. Knowing the difference allows businesses and people to detect the problems better and work for improvement to reduce costs, save time and energy, and lead to trusted business relations with partners and customers.

Sura Aydin

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