Sometimes it can be confusing to know what is what with all these buzzwords. In this post, I try to help you to understand the difference between digitisation, digitalisation and digital transformation.


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.

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

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Martin Olausson

Chief Analyst & Digital Strategist since 2011. Martin helps clients interpret how online and digital impacts their business, and how to plan and execute a strategy to achieve maximum results in the digital age.
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