In the 21st century, digitalisation is a new revolutionary breakthrough that has created significant changes in society. It has shaped daily activities in a positive direction, breathed new life into the workflows and made the operation of businesses much more productive.
It has become a key element of our time that weaves through our whole lives and moves forward without stopping on a path paved with innovative progress.
But can we keep up with technological innovations? Are we prepared for the digital age? Why is this so important and what are the benefits? What exactly does digitalisation mean? This article gives an answer to everything that digitalisation surrounds.
This post will cover the following:
– Digitisation and Digitalisation
– Why is it important to go to the digital path?
– Advantages of digitalisation
– Do the machines take away the job?
– The evolution of digitalisation
What is digitalisation?
Digitalisation is a set of processes in which digital technologies are used to perform an operation. This innovative solution enhances process efficiency and is integrated into business and everyday life. After all, these are activities such as sending e-mail, uploading data to the cloud or to external media, performing an online money transaction, using GPS, and so on. All this is made possible by the joint work of hardware and software. Digitalisation, however, cannot be achieved without digitisation. And what does that mean?
Digitisation and Digitalisation
Digitisation is relatively a less known and rarely used term in everyday life. Although it sounds similar to digitalisation, it is often confused, but the two concepts have completely different meanings.
Digitisation means the process of converting information in physical form — in other words, an analog signal (text, image, audio, video) into an electronic format — i.e. a digital signal — which will be readable to computers.
For an everyday example: we can use a scanner to feed a written material or paper image into the computer, or we can transfer the analog data storage — such as film/video recording from VHS tape, music from a soundtrack — into digital format. Thus, they are converted from an analog signal, source material, into a digital signal, that is, numerical form. In the computer, they are represented as binary numbers, as different files. These files are easily stored, processed or transmitted in a short time if necessary.
The great advantage of digitisation is that the quality of such data does not deteriorate, it will be easily and quickly reproduced and edited. Digitalisation is always preceded by digitisation, since we work with the files created by the latter.
Areas of digitalisation
Digital transformation is essential for small and medium-sized enterprises and multinational companies if they want to remain competitive. Companies must keep up with the development of digitalisation, which is not only aimed at meeting the demands of the market, but is one of the main pillars of the successful operation. If this is missing, the company will end up at a dead end without a way out.
Digital transformation affects the various processes of the company’s operation, which, if possible, are transferred to digital bases. This transition represents a new strategic tool that will allow for an innovation revolution, the building of a new business model.
Digitalisation fundamentally changes the company as a whole:
By purchasing or developing IT infrastructure, various software and systems, and using new technologies, the workflows can be automated. However, it manifests itself not only in a physical sense, but also represents an added value.
It results in a new organizational culture, where openness, new approach and the need for development leads the company forward. The corporate structure will also be transformed, and introduction of new methods will also be involved in the workflows.
It is a kind of challenge for the companies to be constantly up-to-date in the world of digitalisation. In order for this kind of transformation to be viable and functional, the organization must discard the established habits, get out of their comfort zone and be receptive to technological progress.
The process should be implemented in collaboration with the involvement of all employees. This makes it easier for them to adapt to the new situation, it does not constitute a stress factor and helps to develop an approach suitable to the present times. In the corporate environment, full adaptation is made possible by the development of the skills of colleagues and their digital training. They need to learn such new working methods, processes and competences that are key to the successful completion of tasks. This will make the work more efficient.
Digitalisation gives companies a new vision. This vision focuses on the use of digital opportunities, technological processes and their influence in the development of the strategy. One of the key components of the strategy is the digital business model, which shows in a structured way which systematic points must be gone through to ensure that the company be successful. Sustainable and competitive operation without digitisation is almost impossible.
During digitisation, such software has been created that serves a company in 100%, such as Google applications, ODT Time and Attendance System, E-learning systems, etc.
Why is it important to go to the digital path?
The spread of the Internet, along with the spread of digitalisation, has raised the information as a resource to a higher level. We live in an age when the acquisition of information became a vital necessity in everyday life, but especially in the business sector. Without doubt this is about a major resource that has a very powerful influence on the operation of the company. The whole organization is interwoven by the information system.
Information is the knowledge that eliminates doubts and provides a sense of security for the operation of the company. It is based on data, which is relevant information for a given company if interpreted. The company not only acquires and uses information, but also generates and provides it to partners, government and audit bodies or employees. In order to properly utilize it, it is necessary to have its inherent value, quality and to reach the person concerned at the best time.
In the operation of the company, we can use the information in several areas, ranging from processing through hierarchical steps to making a decision. Possessing the knowledge, it is possible to perform various work processes efficiently, and based on this the employees of the given job will know exactly what the task is. Properly processed data will help in clean communication between employees, managing conflicts and solving problems.
Information as a resource is the only and most important factor in making the right decision. It achieves its purpose when it is properly interpreted and exploited and brought to the hands of decision-makers.
From the European Commission’s 2018 report, according to eNet – Telekom’s latest research shows that Hungary’s digital competence is still at a competitive disadvantage compared to the average standard of the European Union. However, it is not in the worst situation either. Half of the Hungarian population has average or above average digital knowledge, while the other half has little or no knowledge of computing. Although the various digital devices are widespread, only 44% of the domestic population participating in the research makes use of this potential.
Regular Internet users use the possibilities of the World Wide Web extensively and a large proportion of them do most of their work online. This will speed up administration and make everyday life easier.
What activities is the Internet used for?
- Browsing 96% 96%
- Emailing 86% 86%
- Searching for information 85% 85%
- Visiting social media sites 75% 75%
- Viewing news portals 72% 72%
The highest proportion of respondents use the Internet to browse, correspond, obtain information, visit social networking sites and read various news sites. Additionally, of course, keep in mind that various transactions such as invoice payment, transfer, online shopping also play a big role in the online world.
Despite the fact that digitalisation is gaining more and more space in Hungary, almost a quarter of the Hungarian population is affected by digital illiteracy. There are several stages of this, the reasons for which include:
Inadequate coverage of the Internet in some places.
The lack of technological expertise of the older generation.
Lack of knowledge and handling of software.
Digital illiteracy is, by the way, none other than the lack of proper use of hardware and software to achieve a certain goal. In other words, the individual does not have the skills to operate digital devices, web and applications and programs in such a way that they can do an effective job without any problems.
This can be remedied by digital training and skills development within the school and workplace. This will help the preparation for the use of digital transformation and create a marketable human resource. The development of the right technical and technological infrastructure and the broadband, fast internet accessible and affordable for all also contributes to this.
Thanks to digitalisation and digital transformation, it is possible to work at home in certain jobs, which is very popular and widespread among workers. This is evidenced by the world’s technology leader Epson’s research in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This revealed that 47% of employees work on a permanent home office basis, 30% work 1-2 days a week from home and 15% spend 3-4 days a week working from home. Telework gives you the opportunity to shorten workdays, as one does not have to spend the time with travel. With this, it is possible to create a comfortable balance between work and privacy. A large number of employers involved in the research have undoubtedly agreed that working at home has a positive impact on both job productivity and the retention of workers. Regardless of this, many still do not use this type of work. Also involved in this is the non-provision of technological equipment which would provide a solution for the implementation.
Hungary is still in its infancy in the field of home office, as the Hungarian corporate culture is not yet prepared for this and there is no openness in this direction. However, we can already see examples to follow, e.g. in the IT sector, in the field of communication and marketing, etc.
Advantages of digitalisation
You have already experienced how much faster it is to write an email than send a letter by mail or order a lunch online in just a few clicks than to cook it at home, and you don’t even have to call. Yes! This is all due to digitalisation, which is already a natural part of everyday life and has the same positive benefits in business.
What are the additional advantages? Let’s see.
- It leads to smoother and faster communication, contact with colleagues and remote partners.
- Workflows become more transparent and easier to track with different applications.
- Data transparency is improved and will be available anywhere, anytime.
- Files and information can be easily shared with colleagues, domestic and foreign partners on various platforms.
- The efficiency of work and performance increases, along with increasing productivity.
- The time spent on administration is reduced, allowing for a quick transaction.
- Less operating costs, thus generating more revenue.
- Optimizes and integrates the company’s operating processes, a more efficient strategy can be used.
- The navigating has become even simpler and easier with a digital map (e.g. Google Maps, GPS).
- The current status of a carrier or parcel in logistics can be accurately tracked.
- Copying and saving files and documents is a quick and easy task, as opposed to traditional paper-based reproduction and storage.
It makes the performing of each task more convenient and fast. Regular yet minimal value-creating activities can be partially or fully automated.
Do the machines take away the job?
Yeah, we might as well think that. But with the development of digitalisation, new horizons will also open in the world of work. Despite the fact that many believe that automated processes and mechanized workforce take the work away from people, there is still no high level of unemployment due to this.
The digital transformation protects people from burnout and unfolding creativity, creating prosperity can have place. For example, monotonous, time-consuming tasks can be carried out much faster and more efficiently, leaving more time to do more important, value-creating things.
By digitalisation, the certain jobs are not eliminated, but transformed. For this, one needs to acquire new skills, digital qualification. With the rapid development of technology, the development of such new professions and jobs are expected that do not even exist today. Soft skills, ie social or interpersonal skills (communication, responsibility, empathy, attitude, etc.) which significantly influence successful work, are becoming increasingly important.
The evolution of digitalisation
Digitalisation can be traced back to antiquity, when the clay and wax tables were replaced by papyrus, parchment, and then paper in today’s sense. This made the easier manual recording of information possible. With the advent of the book printing, analog reproduction began.
Later, the invention of the mechanical typewriter, letters, signs and numbers were fixed on paper by pressing the keys with the help of an ink tape. This was followed by the electrical and electronic version.
The emergence of gear-driven calculators played a major role in the start of digitalisation, but the real breakthrough was János Neumann’s computing basics when the binary system appeared and laid the foundations of the later digital revolution.
The first and second generation computers for which the so-called machine codes were used appeared in the ’60s, they were the first pieces of software. In addition to military tasks, they helped to respond to more complex problems encountered in the technical and scientific world and were always written only for the particular machine.
The assembly program language was later created to simplify programming. The 3rd generation computers required the creation of newer and more complex software (e.g. FORTRAN, ALGOL). Writing programs became a real technological innovation since the 1970s, as more advanced programming languages and methods such as PASCAL and C programming languages were developed.
From ‘90s onwards, digital technology began to evolve rapidly. Not only computers became more and more advanced, but such pieces of software were created that not only helped the work, but later the program partially performed the automatable tasks. Just think about the DOS operating system, and then the word processor of Windows that replaced it, the Word used today. But do not forget that we have also came from saving a data on a magnetic tape to using cloud-based technology.
In the so-called digital activity, it is worthwhile to imagine a system in which the individual instructions are executed independently by the software, but the human is still part of these processes. A kind of manual presence and control is constantly required, exactly as we perform a calculation operation in an excel table.
The highest degree of digitalisation is when fully automated processes are possible. This means that programs can independently execute the issued commands even without human intervention. A perfect example is self-driving cars or robots endowed with “artificial intelligence”. This kind of evolution can bring about future changes that will raise further questions.
Digitalisation in the working time recording
Even nowadays it is a common practice to keep working time records on paper. It appears to be functional, but it does not represent a very beneficial solution in the long term. Paper-based records require a lot of time, it may not be possible for everyone to run it regularly and in a large company it is almost impossible to follow it.
Collecting, checking and organizing papers involves a lot of work. Not to mention the fact that it also takes several hours for payroll and accounting. In case of any kind of administrative problems or decision preparation calculations, the error is very difficult to trace back and this process causes a lot of time loss.
The appearance of excel tables has brought a kind of ease into the process of records, but the use of this also requires serious intellectual work. The data of the paper-based attendance sheets should be fed to excel, which will speed up working time assignment and payroll processes. Although it is more convenient to calculate, modify and check, we have to enter everything separately and set up the calculation in accordance with the law. At some point, however, there comes a limit when the program can no longer serve the emerging needs and more is needed for smooth work.
Recording is further facilitated by the use of smart access control systems. These systems have a card reader and data collection equipment that records and collects cardholder login and logout information, which can be transmitted online to a specific registry program, resulting in more efficient administration.
In addition, you need more and more specific data to prepare fast and accurate payroll. After all, you need to know about allowances, holidays, periods of sick pays, etc. Only specifically specialized software can do this without any problems.
With the ODT System, you can always work with up-to-date data, and the records of employees and their information can be flexibly and easily managed and documented. Using this software, you can save a lot of time, as every human management workflow requires just a few clicks, so you can focus on the really important things that will advance your company’s career! Now with a special trial opportunity. Details here.
Author: Gabriella Pataki-Magyar
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