Digitisation, Digitalisation, Digital Transformation

Behind the Buzzword: Digitisation vs Digitalisation vs Digital Transformation

Digitisation, digitalisation and digital transformation may sound similar and are often used interchangeably, however, they have different meanings with important distinctions. These words are seen a lot, but what exactly do they mean? How are they different? And why does it matter? We’ve broken down the terms below.


Digitisation is the process of taking something analogue and making it digital. Many companies digitise when moving from a physical filing system to a digital one – for example, scanning customer information and storing it in a cloud rather than a paper system. Digitisation is a great way to preserve data and information and makes it easier to access and search.


Digitalisation is a step further where you now take any data or process and use digital innovations to make them more useful to your company. Digitalisation is more than making information digital, it’s transforming processes and information so that they are of more value to the company than they previously were using digital technology. It’s taking the digital information in your organisation and adding it to a digital workflow or tool. Often these tools also combine and analyze the data, which adds value to your data with less human effort. An example of digitalisation is using the features in a CRM to manage the process of interacting with a customer.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation, the broadest of the three concepts, is an umbrella term for the combination of digital strategies and initiatives implemented to improve your business and create a data culture. A digital transformation project makes data and digital technologies integral to your organisation and drives value from the technology and information generated. While digitalisation is taking business as usual and digitising it, digital transformation goes further; the changes should actually convert to revenue, better customer service, or improved business performance.

It’s like taking that digital customer information and creating a dashboard or reporting solution to analyse the customers in your business. This could even be taken further to help drive value for the customer and create additional value in the business.

Digitisation and digitalisation are steps toward digital transformation, but they can not be used interchangeably. Digitisation and digitalisation are elements of digital transformation, but they are not digital transformation, they explain smaller, more specific concepts.

Why does it matter?

Digital transformation is the future of business. In order to compete in a rapidly evolving world, companies must embrace digital changes and innovate. These are three different concepts with the same goal: to improve your business with digital technology. Digitisation is the first step in achieving digitalisation, which will not only improve the efficiency and productivity of your organisation but also lead to digital transformation. Digital transformation is an ongoing process of keeping your organisation up to date with current technology and using it to improve your business.

What’s Next?

Need support in your digital transformation? Check out our other blogs and resources where we explain more data concepts and strategies. Our expert team can also help with any aspect of your data transformation, speak to a member of our team today for more information.