Digitisation vs Digitalisation – Are they the same?

If you’ve been reading into the edtech scene in recent years you’ve probably stumbled upon the words digitalisation and digitisation. The edtech industry is full of new terms emerging everyday and things can get a little confusing if you’re just starting to dive deeper into the industry. 

The words digitisation and digitalisation may seem to have similar meanings and often are assumed to be used interchangeably. But that’s far from the truth. These two words point at two completely different things when it comes to digital disruption. 

Infact its important to know the difference between the two as they pose different practical meanings and the choice of whether to digitise or digitalise is very important to get right.

In a nutshell digitisation is converting information into digital format whereas digitalisation is converting processes and systems using digital technologies. 

Let’s dive a little deeper into each one…

Digitisation vs Digitalisation - Are they the same? 2


As mentioned before, digitisation deals with the conversion of information. Digitisation is the process of converting analogue data into digital data. You’ve probably digitised your data at some point or another. If you’ve ever scanned physical documents to electronic files, converted cassette tapes into MP3s, you’ve digitised. Modern technology has firmly pushed us into the digital age, making much of the data we require digitally available.


We now use our laptops to search the internet for information, take images with our smartphones, and send emails online. This is what digitisation is all about. Communication has become faster and easier because of digitisation, which has also opened up new routes for information. In the commercial sector, digitisation has involved integrating new technology into established business models in order to improve their efficiency and productivity.

Digitisation isn’t necessarily a revolutionary thing but more evolutionary. All the things we have previously done without technology are simply being done more efficiently and effectively with modern technology. The foundation of the model itself is not changed, but the efficiency of it on an operational scale certainly improved. 

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Now that we understand where digitisation falls in the world of digital transformation, where does digitalisation come into play in all of this? 

The term digitalisation and it’s exact meaning is still up for discussion as some still use it to refer to digitisation processes. However, the general meaning that most can agree with is that digitalisation is the conversion of business processes and interactions into a digital adaptation.Since business processes and interactions primarily involve some form of interaction, this means that they aren’t necessarily 100% digital. To put it simply, they depend on digital tools more than they used to.


A great example of digitalisation in business is inviting potential candidates and applicants to send their CVs via email rather than traditionally sending a hard copy to the office address. Another example could be proposing meetings to be switched from in-person meetings to video conference meetings. 

Technology is being used to produce new ways of thinking. Digitalisation can help businesses enter new markets, offer new products, and attract new customers. It’s about exploring various opportunities, all of which are made available by modern technologies. Digitalisation will most likely be an ongoing activity within the business as new emerging technologies that promote efficiency such as Hubspot, ClickUp, and Zoom. 

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Putting it all together

Another great way to tell the difference between the two terms is looking at what point in time each one interacts with. With digitisation, it is all about the past; things that were already done (old business records, documents etc.). Whereas with digitalisation, it is all about the present; things we are doing (interactions, business process etc.)

It is undeniable that digitisation and digitalisation are two critical strategies for businesses to remain relevant in today’s world. A truly digital business necessitates not only the digitization of processes, but also the adaptation of business operations to take advantage of new technological opportunities.

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All firms must understand the influence of these technologies on their operations, as well as how to employ digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation to stay ahead of the competition. 

Contact us today to see how atp Vital can assist your business with your next digital transformation venture.

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