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We are making a huge Digital Transformation?… I mean digitalization!

Diogo Fortes, Implementation Consultant at Voltarion challenged us: “is this really digital transformation? Are we not confusing “digital transformation” with “digitalization”?”


Ever since this annoying pandemic arrived, I have been reading about a lot of company executives talking about the huge digital transformations they are carrying in their businesses. How they now work and interact remotely, how they have turned their existing processes completely digital and how they started their online business stores.

The fundamental question is: is this really a digital transformation? Or are we confusing digital transformation with digitalization?

I think people are confusing these two terms for quite some time, but nowadays, it becomes more evident because most businesses where abruptly forced to turn their attention to the digital world.

When we talk about remote interactions, remote shopping via online stores, digital business processes allowing workers to work remotely, we are talking primarily about digitalization, not digital transformation.

Digital transformation is much broader than that!

It involves transformation as the word says. In short, digital transformation means transforming something that exists into something different or creating something new, using technology and focusing on the most import goal: the end user and/or customer.

It might be a new commercial strategy focusing social networks or a new business model adapted to the new digital equipment’s/consumer needs, but in all cases digital transformation depends on the ability for the company to change and adapt to the new digital world, which also includes the ability to digitalize business models and processes but on a strategic and business oriented level.

Already in 2018, Jason Bloomberg (a writer and consultant in digital transformation), noted this confusion when he wrote about it in his article “Digitization, Digitalization, And Digital Transformation: Confuse Them At Your Peril” which I recommend everyone to read it.

He wrote “…we digitize information, we digitalize processes and roles that make up the operations of a business, and we digitally transform the business and its strategy.