Digitization or Digital Transformation?

“What is the difference between automation and digitization?” “What is the difference between digitization and digital transformation?” I often hear from people. I answer briefly, taking into account the differences in people’s knowledge.

Automation: Efficient methods to eliminate repeated processing and human error from “manual and toil” states.

Digitization: Making it possible for computers to interpret all information necessary for corporate production activities.

However, it’s especially difficult for me to simply explain Digital Transformation.

Let’s say you can see styling in AR without trying on at a shop. And the sensor instantly measures your body size and the material texture can be reproduced as real. This service eliminates the hassle of changing clothes on the go. And even if you don’t try it on, the styling will look just like you’ve seen in AR. This is the target value. And the salesperson drastically reduces the work of folding a lot of tried-on clothes and returning them to the shelves. This is the value of the result.

However, if we consider the salesperson’s value first, will AR be used? Probably, You will try to introduce an automatic folding machine. If this is the target value, the customer will never get the value of the result. If digital transformation aims to build new relationships with businesses and customers through digitalization, the target value must be aimed at the business (customers).

I talk too long, sorry.

Digital Transformation: Providing new value to customers using the digitized business base. In a narrow sense, technology changes such as a series of automation and digitization in the process.

Let’s simply define a digital transformation sequence in a company as follows:

  1. Automation (often includes digitization)
  2. Digitization (often includes automation)
  3. DevOps (Repeated Value Stream)
  4. Supervision of all digital business by CDO


However, there is still something missing to look at customer value. It is a culture that accepts a digitized business foundation and promotes innovation. “Culture Transformation” This should be incorporated somewhere. I personally think that it should be incorporated before 3. (It maybe 1. However, in Japanese enterprises, automation and digitization were preceded without thinking deeply. Therefore 2. is still “Digitization”, not “Digitalization”).

There is no convenient and polite syllabus that will teach everyone about this kind of “Cultural Transformation”. In my experience, the 6 principles of DASA focus on the cultural change of the DevOps team, However, there are some things that can be helpful in changing the culture at the corporate.

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Minoru Kato

DASA Ambassador, DevOps Evangelist, NTT Comware

Minoru KATO is the DevOps Evangelist of NTT COMWARE CORPORATION. He has engaged in cloud technology research and development. He currently engages in cloud service…

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