Don’t Confuse Digital Transformation, Digital Disruption with Digitization?

1 min read


We currently live in the era of digitization, digital transformation, and digital disruption. All of them are three terms which we use for many years but often in the wrong sense. Don’t confuse them. A week ago, I heard my friend saying that he wanted to digitize his enterprise. He will automatic everything and replace humans with robots. He wanted to connect everything that unconned so far with IoT. Unfortunately, he has confused between digitization and digital transformation. So, what is digitization?

What is digitization?

Digitization is defined in several meanings but for us, it has two meanings which are closely related to each other.

Firstly, for starter, digitization is transforming from a few physical products such as paper, microfilm images, sound and more into digital products. In addition, we also can turn physicals products into digital ones by place sensors inside many physical products such as e-cigarette.


Secondly, for the professor, digitization is about enabling, improving, transforming business operations and business models by leveraging digital technologies and the context of data, turned into amazing business outcomes. The second meaning helps you to create your automatic processes and workflows to cut cost and make operational excellence.

What is the digital transformation?

The second term is digital transformation. Digital transformation is not just about technology, it is about strategy and new ways of thinking. Transforming for the digital age requires your business to be speed and agility. You need to upgrade the mindset much more than your infrastructure. There are five domains of digital transformation for the business today, they are customers, competition, data, innovation and value 1(see-see-div).

  • Customers from mass market to dynamic network.
  • Competition from within defined areas to across fluid areas.
  • Data from is expensive to generate in companies to is continuously generated everywhere every time.
  • Innovation from the focus on the finished product to focus on minimum value product.
  • Value from defined by industry to defined by changing customer needs.

Applied with transformation in each of these five domains help businesses successfully adapt and grow in the digital age.

What is the digital disruption?

The final term is digital disruption. It is about offering exceptional high value to the customers in a way with a new product or service that existing companies cannot compete with directly.


  • Retail: Amazon, Taobao
  • Media: YouTube, Facebook
  • Search: Google, Bing
  • Hospitality: Airbnb, TripAdvisor
  • Transportation: Uber, Grab

When companies adopt disruption digital; they do old things in new ways. Airbnb was not devised by a hotel company. Uber was not designed by a transport company. Amazon was not set up by a retail company. But all of them dominate the market.

Finally, did you understand these three terms clearly? Please share your thoughts.

Trung Anh Dang Trung Anh Dang is a creator of educational and connected vehicle services. In 2009, he graduated from Hanoi University of Technology in the top five percent of his faculty. His current work is on how insights from the human mind can inform the field of artificial intelligence.

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