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Digitize vs Digitalize: What Are The Differences?

Digitize vs Digitalize: What Are The Differences?

To digitalize your business, you need to change how you gather information. Using some digitizing tools is not enough.

Sura Aydin
March 28, 2022

In today's world, businesses, people, institutions, and governments, basically everyone, somehow update themselves to keep up with the outside world because we are in an ever changing world and always need to be updated to make our plans work out as we expect. 

At Inspakt, we emphasize digitalization and advocate that operations must proceed entirely with digital records. There are different reasons for this, such as transparency, detailed information, and openness. Lately, I have noticed the confusion in many people's minds between the terms digitizing and digitalizing as what they imply. People use them interchangeably, as it isn’t easy to get the actual underlying meaning of the terms. Even though those terms are connected there is a huge difference between them. 

Many business leaders think that digitizing is a process that will carry their business directly to digitalization or digital transformation. Digitization might be the initial step but it is not the entire process. Digitalization cannot happen without digitization because you need to use digitization tools to digitalize and reach your business's digital transformation goals.

Reach your business goals

Let's clarify their meanings first. As the probable initial guess regarding these terms actually means digitization. "Digitization refers to the internal optimization of processes (e.g., work automation, paper minimization) and results in cost reductions."  [1]

Digitalization could sometimes be perceived as using a computer or developing an in-house app for a specific operation. Of course, you may make your job easier by using technology, but if your system is still dependent on word of mouth or paper documents coming out of the copier, this indicates that your business model is getting old. People's persuasion thresholds are now very high. It would be best to have a more concrete information package that you can support in many aspects, such as location information and visuals. The processes that proceed on paper are now turning into words that come out of the mouth but fly away without being recorded. You might have already provided solutions to digitize your business and operations. You might even say, "Oh well, we used technology to store our documents and made an in-house app for our needs." But in fact, you do not use all the digital possibilities and more ideal solutions for your industry.

So here, the perspective you should get appears as digitalization. In Gartner's IT glossary, 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." [2] Moreover, beyond digitization, digitalization is a strategy or approach more than just implementing technology to imply a more thorough, essential change to the whole business model and growth.

Digitalizing will support growth

Kane et al.'s (2017) study has found that 25% of organizations had transformed into digital businesses, 41% were on transformative journeys, and 34% invested more time talking about the trend than they did acting on it. What is noteworthy is that 85% of executives stated that attaining digital maturity is critical to organizational success. The discrepancy between recognizing digital as a competitive necessity and successfully implementing a transformative strategy suggests that many leaders are unsure how to harness digital opportunities to people, processes, and technology. [3]

To illustrate the digitizing process, you use paper documents to take notes and fill out the forms, and then you go to your computer and write the notes down manually and maybe even use OCR to fasten the process. This provides you with digital data storage but still, you suffer from misleading information coming from operations. When you save the data from paper, you digitize the recorded data; in other words, you re-write what has been written. Unfortunately, such a work model does not save you from facing fraud or losses due to not having on-time information about the case.

On the other hand, whereas in the example, it does not mean that your operations are digital and you collect data securely. Digitalizing implies handling all operational processes with digital tools, from beginning to end, without paper and pen. You record the data on digital templates without noting it on paper documents. Digitalization does not consist of photocopy machines because you keep the data digital, save it digitally, and store it digitally. 

One can also say that digitalizing your business means a change of perspective, even changing a mindset. This is why it is not easy to integrate a company into this digital new system. Any change in anyone's life is not easy, even though it presents much more profit in the long run. Keeping yourself with the world and exploring alternative ways would make you one step ahead. 

All in all, if you have a business, it doesn't matter the company size; you want to avoid future risks and fraud while also wishing to manage damages. You need to change how you gather information instead of just using some random tools. Inspakt can help you with this shift. 

Inspakt is wherever any trust relationship is; in your agreements, contracts, damage management operations, inspections and more. You can start building trust with Inspakt as you digitalize your business. 

Check out how Inspakt can help you.

Stay trusted.


1: https://medium.com/@colleenchapco/digitization-digitalization-and-digital-transformation-whats-the-difference-eff1d002fbdf 

2: https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/glossary/digitalization 

3: https://sloanreview.mit.edu/projects/achieving-digital-maturity/ 

Sura Aydin

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