‘Digitization’ & ‘Digitalization’ The 2 letter difference ….!!!

‘Digitization’ and ‘Digitalization’ are two conceptual terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, with correlated meanings that has been the cause of a great deal of confusion among business and technology professionals, and the difference being just the two letter ‘al’…!!

The lack of clarity is justifiable given the amount of information reaching us every day encircling the subject matter of digital transformation.

:::: — — — DIGITIZATION — — -::::

Another definition goes as Its a Representation of an object, image, sound, document or signal — usually an analog signal by generating a series of numbers that describe a discrete set of its points or samples. Strictly speaking, digitizing means conversion of analog source material into a numerical format.

The terms ‘digitization’ and ‘digitalization’ are not new. According to the Oxford English Dictionary [OED] the first usage of the two terms in reference to technology date back to the middle of the 1950’s. In other words, ‘digitization’ refers to “the action or process of digitizing; the conversion of analogue data into digital form.” ‘Digitalization’ refers to “the adoption or increase in use of digital or computer technology by an organization, industry, country etc.”

Well, from my perspective, Digitization means the transformation of all the data like music, images, text etc into discrete formats (bits & bytes) and Digitalization is integrating digital technology in my everyday life by digitizing everything that can be digitized.

The literal lay man example would be, we digitize all our data on paper by typing it in MS word, while we will be digitalizing our office by using automatic AC’s & Lighting system, Door entry systems, etc.

:::: — — — DIGITALIZATION — — -::::

According to Gartner glossary, the use of digital technologies for transforming a business model for providing increase in revenues and values producing opportunities is called Digitalization. It means that businesses now will use technology to engage with people to exactly address their Specific needs.

Digitalization allows us to collect information from our now automated processes. This digital bits and pieces of data collected can be processed and this gathered metrics can be applied to optimize business outcomes. Using information received from multiple channels like mobile devices, social media platforms, operational data and even GPS devices provide greater insight into pain points and thereby reducing downtime.

Best example would be, invisible and intangible technology helps us find the transportation we need, the restaurant we like or identify nearest Gas Station, Hospitals etc wherever we are and at any time immediately.

Collecting data and using information in real-time allows organizations to make informed decisions surrounding every aspect of the business.

Some Applications / Uses for a better understanding of the terms:


01. Converting or transferring Physical documents, for example books, maps etc. to an electronic storage device.

02. Reading Magazines, Newspapers & Journals Online compared to physical form.

03. Conversion of Vinyl records to online music streaming, etc


In the Sector of mining & metals, Proximity monitors, speed controllers, lane keeping assistants — such systems are commonplace on cars. Now, similar systems are finding applications in mining vehicles as well. The objectives is to achieve greater productivity, efficiency, and safety, thereby supplement to rising revenues.

In the Sector of Oil & Energy the biggest, most efficient gas turbine are being built, filling it up with whole array of sensors to monitor temperatures, vibrations and several other conditions. The sensors will be able to feed the data over the Industrial Internet to software applications for analysis. These results are further used to improve performance and also to schedule maintenance and prevent unplanned downtime, which will further lead to increase in revenues.

In the sector of farming, several mobile tools of sprung up, for digital disease identification of plants on the field, and then a direct connection is constituted between the right pesticides or fertilizers to effectively treat the affected plant for controlling or arresting the disease or timely application of fertilizers to boost agriculture output.

In the Sector of manufacturing, we can use robots for example to operate CNC machines, or activities which are monotonous to enhance quality and output.

So, in short digitization is the first step to digitalization and this entire make over is called digital transformation.


I am sure, in future discussions surrounding ‘digitalization’ and ‘digitization’, knowing the different meaning of each term and understanding how the two concepts are coupled together to form the total package of Digital Transformation.

Hope you liked my blog. Do let me know your comments in the section below, or write to me at email: kalavendi.ravi@suneratech.com. Website: http://www.suneratech.com/