Digitisation, digitalisation and digital transformation

Blogs and Articles

While many businesses are focused on a digital transformation, are they following the correct protocols to ensure the process is as smooth and efficient as possible?

30 November 20227 mins
Digitisation, Digitalisation And Digital Transformation

Today’s workforce is digitally native. In order to keep pace with the expectations of your personnel, competitors and consumers, your business must upgrade its core operational processes.

Digital transformation (DX) is a necessity for many Australasian businesses. The migration of data to cloud-based platforms automates workflows and provides new levels of efficiency, transparency and communication for remote-capable personnel.

As organisations become more adept at transitioning their mission-critical information to cloud-based architectures, processes such as digitisation and digitalisation are routinely utilised. The similarities between these terms may trick business operators into thinking they’re interchangeable elements of a larger process. In reality, each step represents an essential component of the larger digital transformation strategy.

This article will examine these individual components in detail, and illustrate how digitisation and digitalisation are two separate elements that are both necessary to achieve a truly digital business infrastructure.

Understanding the true meaning of digital transformation

Moving from analogue, manually-intensive workflows to automated, digital-friendly solutions involves each of these three distinct operations:

  • Digitisation encompasses the conversion of all paper-based workflows into digitally stored repositories. This process represents the first stage of a digital transformation strategy and occurs once a business recognises the need to alter their operational infrastructure.
  • Digitalisation takes these cloud-based documents, resources and applications and changes business processes in order to enhance productivity, revenue and value-producing opportunities. Whilst digitisation defines the process of conversion, digitalisation details how your business can adapt these cloud computing applications to alter their operations.
  • Digital transformation (DX) is achieved only once technology has been fully embraced to improve business resiliency and performance. A true DX solution has largely left paper-based workflows in the past and relies on the interconnectedness of today’s applications, networks and platforms to perform business functions.

Whilst many businesses understand the value and importance of digitising their business architecture, they may be unaware of how to integrate digital technologies to maximum effect. If you’re among the leaders looking to support your remote staff and enhance the protection of your data, DX offers enhanced connectivity and security for your mission-critical workflows.

But how does your business effectively deploy a digital transformation strategy?

Iron Mountain understands how to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world. We offer a 5- step approach to help businesses navigate the transformation to a digital architecture:

  1. Identify the assets you need to digitise, convert or defensibly destroy.
  2. Digitise so that your business can go paperless or paper-lite.
  3. Store digital assets in a future-proof repository.
  4. Automate workflows to enable collaboration and workflow automation.
  5. Unlock key data to identify new patterns or trends.

These 5 steps fall into the phases of digitisation and digitalisation that are necessary to achieve truedigital transformation.

In order to understand this process, we’ll examine each of these phases individually and guide you through what you can expect to achieve during every component of your new digital strategy.

Phase one – digitisation

You’ve identified the need to create a digital representation of the physical data and resources that are essential to your operations. Digitisation is the first phase in your business transformation process, and it may initially appear to be the most daunting.

Every piece of paper will need to be scanned and saved as a digital document – for example, every file folder containing paper records needs to become an editable PDF. Once you’ve determined the data you need to transfer, you’ll need to convert the entirety of your essential documents, records and invoices.

From there, the records will need to be processed by image editing platforms to ensure that the quality of the transferred documents is up to standard. Deploying a metadata and indexing process next will allow your information to be retrieved by entering a related keyword.

Before going any further, conduct a quality assurance check before backing up and archiving your data.

The end result is a streamlined workflow that saves your authorised personnel from having to be on- premises to read paper records stored in filing cabinets. Depending on the amount of filing cabinets your business has accumulated over the years, however, this may be a lengthy process.

The second essential component of a digitisation strategy involves the secure disposal of your old paper-based records. Once you’ve stored a digital facsimile of all essential documents, you’ll no longer need to delegate space to filing cabinets or storage housing old records.

Outsourcing the digitisation of your paper-based data and resources can ensure these steps are carried out with precision and effectiveness that saves your workforce the time and energy of attempting to add these responsibilities onto their daily workflows.

Phase two – digitalisation

Once you’ve identified and digitised your paper-based data, storing it in an online repository will allow you to take advantage of increased security while unlocking a number of new business applications.

You’ve accomplished the first phase of your digital transformation strategy – now it’s time to reap the benefits of your endeavour. Here are some of the ways you can use your new digital tools to improve organisational efficiency:

  • Cloud-storage provides greater flexibility, scalability and reliability for your records and gives your remote-workers easier access to critical information. Whilst paper records can be lost, damaged or destroyed, your digital data is both safe and accessible with a few simple keystrokes.
  • Automated workflows offer enhanced productivity to any and all of your employees tasked with handling large volumes of data and records. Your accounting and human resources departments, IT experts and sales teams enjoy the ability to source, edit and update the data that is crucial to the performance of your business.
  • The digital enablement of your workforce will have them embracing new technology to improve the efficiency of old tasks. Automating routine administrative duties can greatly reduce bottlenecks and allow your workforce to focus on initiatives that move your business forward.
  • Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies can help you automatically pull essential data out of your digitised documents, helping you source the right information and send it to authorised users across your organisation, regardless of their physical location.

Iron Mountain understands that true digital transformation is not a linear process. Whilst you’ve automated several workflows and unlocked new ways to conduct your business operations, it’s important to recognise that you’re at the mercy of an ever-evolving technological landscape. In order to maintain good data hygiene and ensure the continuity of your efforts, it’s time to fully embrace the concept of digital transformation.

Iron Mountain digital transformation solutions

Congratulations on taking the steps needed to achieve true DX architecture for your business. To recap, here’s what you’ve accomplished by digitising and digitialising your organisational infrastructure:

  • You’ve inventoried your entire backlog of old paper-based records.
  • You’ve determined the files that you need to digitise, store and destroy.
  • You’ve successfully automated several of your mission-critical workflows and unlocked new insights and metrics.

Now it’s time to leverage and integrate these processes into all avenues of your business. Iron Mountain offers comprehensive guidance every step of the way. We don’t simply offer services that handle the digitisation and document storage needs of your business – at Iron Mountain, we partner with your business leaders and IT professionals to guide, navigate and maintain your digital transformation.

Our Information Management and Content Services Platform solutions are designed to improve the efficiency of your organisation’s most important processes whilst addressing industry-specific challenges. After all, what good is achieving a truly-digital business model if you’re not fully reaping the benefits? Our Iron Mountain team will arm your business leaders and IT professionals with tips to remain at the forefront of the ever-evolving digital landscape.

With our Iron Mountain InSight platform, you’ll have continued access to a platform expressly designed to keep your newly-digital business model operating at peak efficiency. You’ll take advantage of predictive analytics and actionable insights thanks to ML-based classifications of your company’s digital information. By adding structure, context and metadata to your key business data, you’ll be able to analyse enriched content that informs streamlined workflows throughout your business architecture.

To learn more about how Iron Mountain has helped organisations achieve their digital transformation, visit our customer success stories page. When you’re ready to learn how we can partner with you to future-proof your business, contact Iron Mountain. Our dedicated team of experts is ready and waiting to help you unlock the power of the digital age.