What is digitisation, digitalisation and digital transformation?

By Anders Björklund

What is digitisation, digitalisation and digital transformation?

Sometimes it's not very clear to know what is what with all these buzzwords. Below I try to clarify the difference between digitisation, digitalisation, digital transformation and digital readiness.


Digitisation means the conversion of existing products, services, processes or any other analogue format into a digital format. The benefits of digitisation are significant: efficiency, operational excellence, predictability and cost-cutting.

Digitisation doesn't affect the underlying business model; it merely creates a near-perfect copy of its analogue counterpart that can be stored, processed, and transmitted at near-zero marginal costs.


Digitalisation is the reimagination of business models, industries and societies based on new capabilities that digital technology and culture makes available to us. Digitalisation is a fertile ground for innovation and growth; the impact of which can be disruptive.

Examples of companies at the forefront of digitalisation are Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, Google etc.

Digital transformation

Digital transformation is the process of building the capability to explore, experiment and exploit new opportunities made available by advancements in digital technology.

Many companies have started their digital transformation programmes, usually focusing on helping them to adopt digital practices, processes, technologies, culture and business models.

These programmes are usually spurred on by the ambition to enable companies to increase efficiencies and profit through digitisation of their existing business. And additionally, to identify new opportunities for growth and competitive advantage through digitalisation.

Digital readiness

Digital readiness is the level of readiness among employees of a company that is undergoing a digital transformation.​

Digital readiness is the ease with which employees and organisations can transition to digitised workflows, using software and other technology. The goal is to streamline the way business is done, and customers are served.​

It's essential for companies to proactively train employees to undertake the digital transformation, for their personal as well as professional growth.

I have compiled this article in a PowerPoint presentation. Feel free to download.

Download the presentation

Want to know more? Through our digitalisation guide: what, why, when and how to use it you'll find much more to read!

Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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