There is more behind the word digitization than it might initially appear. Therefore, in the following, the definition of the term itself, the earlier development and the future of digitization, and various examples that the digital change brought with it/bring are brought closer. Furthermore, as such a change will leave a significant mark on the world, a few of the most significant downsides will also be examined in more detail.
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What Does Digitization Mean?
Digitization is the generic term that describes digital change in society and the economy. It is the change from the industrial age, shaped by analog technologies, to the age of digital technologies and digital innovations. The digital age is shaped by knowledge and creativity.
Put more simply, and the definition can be formulated as follows: analog information or processes are converted into digital forms. The reason for this is that it has affected many different areas for decades. Other areas of society and the economy will also be involved in the future.
Since the 1990s, digitization has developed drastically due to the spread of the Internet and mobile data access. Today, 30 years later, one cannot imagine working or student life without digital support. As a result, even everyday private life is being taken over more and more.
Companies could also do without digital assistance and can no longer keep up with the competition and constant change. As the saying goes, “If a business isn’t on the first page of Google search results, then the business doesn’t exist.” for smaller family businesses, it is not necessary to earn or buy good rankings on Google. It is not possible compared to large corporations.
However, users expect to be able to find out about companies on the Internet. Since the early 2000s, digitization has increasingly made an essential leap into people’s everyday lives.
The mobile Internet has now established itself as an expert application for everyone’s daily life. Until then, the digital application areas were mainly applicable to experts.
There Are Different Characteristics
existing economic and social systems are gradually transitioning into the digital age
Triggered by innovative and digital business models – radical change Communication has also changed significantly. Whereas in the past you had to write letters by hand and wait days or weeks for a written reply, today it is a lot easier. Nowadays, communication mainly takes place via messenger services such as WhatsApp. In seconds you have typed a message and received a reply.
Even sending an e-mail is sometimes considered “obsolete.” However, even companies are already working with other services, such as Skype or a WhatsApp business account.
The number of examples is almost limitless, and digitization has changed significantly in recent years. However, what is already taken for granted by the younger generation, people of the older age first have to learn and sometimes even get used to. In no case should it be forgotten to include and integrate the more senior people into the new systems?
Digitization brings advantages above all for the younger than, the older generation. However, everyone can reap the benefits with the proper application and the right know-how.
One of the main components of digitization is online trading, for example. There are hardly any companies left that have not yet taken advantage of this opportunity to sell. A significant advantage is that the shop is available to all customers and interested parties around the clock. However, one of the most important disadvantages is that interested parties can quickly compare the offers. Due to the digital implementation of online shops, it is possible to carry out a price or product comparison within a few minutes.
The fact that digital change has also found its way into the world of work – in all companies – is no longer news. Depending on the business field, however, it depends on the speed at which digitalization is progressing. Companies in the media or music industry must be kept up-to-date at all times not to be undermined by the competition.
In other business areas, digital transformation is progressing more slowly. For example, public administration offices can be mentioned here, where a lot of data still has to be filed in paper form files. In such areas of activity, it is not (yet) essential to be updated with the latest digitization.
Digital Change In Marketing
Of course, digital change is also increasingly being found in marketing. What posters and brochures had to be printed just a few years ago are now being done more and more online, for example, via social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, via influencers), company websites, or advertising banners on websites.
As a result, the range has changed significantly. Many more (potential) customers can access the advertising simultaneously. Of course, many people who are not so strongly represented in the online area are also eliminated.
However, digital media will undoubtedly replace a large part of “classic” advertising in the future and make this information digitally available to interested parties.
Companies can also stay in digital contact with customers by sending a newsletter. These are no longer transmitted by post but to the recipient by email. Most of the time, you have to agree that you want to receive a newsletter so that you don’t receive emails from companies unintentionally. There is also the option in every email to unsubscribe from the newsletter.
But digitization will not stop in the future either. It will continue to shape and change society and, above all, the economy. You can already see upcoming trends (examples can be found below). For these changes, schools, companies, and institutes in education and training must face new requirements and implement them.
But artificial intelligence is also becoming increasingly important and widespread. Artificial intelligence refers to applications in which machines replace human intelligence. So opportunities must be created to integrate these people into the “new digital world” in the best possible way and to let them participate in it.
Among other things, a synonym for digitization can be mentioned: automation or mechanization. In general, however, digitizing is the most frequently used term. Moreover, as technology is improving similarly, digitization is multiplying. Therefore, everyone needs to understand the basic features.
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