Digitalization, Digital transformation, Automation
Author: Attila Sólyom, Process Optimisation Expert
When it comes to digitalization, computers are probably the first thing that comes to our minds, but after some contemplation we will find examples of it in almost any process from our own profession or from the world at large. Today, the greater challenge is rather to find an area where digital solutions are not present. It also follows from this that digitalization is a “phenomenon” that is present in all walks of our lives, one that can be interpreted in an extremely broad way – starting from simple email sending, through self-driving cars and mobile phone controlled air conditioners to “contactless” bookkeeping – to take an example from our area too – it can comprise any activity that is performed by computers alongside (or instead of) humans.
Digitalization, or – to put it more precisely – digital transformation plays such a significant role in the development of business solutions too, that it pays to devote more time and attention to looking at its main areas, understanding and often clarifying some of its frequently used terms and phenomena. The more so as these will stay with us in the coming decades and will actively shape our everyday routines be it work, career opportunities or events of our private lives.
So we decided to write a blog series in the posts of which we will attempt to cover the very rich topic of digitalization from the perspective of Process Solutions, provider of business services for the corporate world. Beyond analysing the general trends of digitalization, we will specially focus on our own field, that is on the challenges, solutions and opportunities related to accounting and payroll outsourcing services. In addition to these – without claim to completeness – we will also look at the corporate functions that support business operations, such as HR, performance or change management, which have relevance for all industries.
We will strive to present all those areas where Process Solutions has successfully adapted to the challenges of the digital revolution, which means we will address such issues in which we can help our readers with our vision and experience, whether it is just a more precise interpretation of a concept or introducing a way of thinking that affects the success of a development project.
We will cover such important topics as, for example …
- Is paperless office possible in bookkeeping?
- Is contactless, automatic bookkeeping feasible?
- What opportunities does the fourth industrial revolution hold for accountants?
- How does digitalization affect the management processes of accounting service providers?
- Does digitalization pose a threat to the traditionally trusting relationships of bookkeeping?
Naturally, we also monitor the latest developments in the professional literature, so if there is an area that is of interest – even based on your reader’s feedback – we will cover it as well.
So if there is an area outside of the above that you would like to hear about, please let us know by sending an email at the address of firstname.lastname@example.org.
To begin with, let’s clarify why is digitalization so trendy?
The term simply means the use of digital technologies – and by digital technology we mean electronic devices, systems and resources that store, process or generate data.
This definition is clearly – and intentionally – very general.
The phenomenon is not new – it has actually been present since the advent of computers, but COVID has undoubtedly given the field a boost that under normal circumstances would have taken years. Necessity is the mother of many things, goes the saying, and indeed, the pandemic meant not simply an opportunity, but rather a necessity for digitalization for a great number of businesses. What is more, digital transformation is not a once-in-a-lifetime process that ends when it has reached its goal, but rather the regularly implemented exploitation of new and newer technological opportunities. Broad involvement has noticeably moved the market, and the momentum does not seem to be slowing down – for the time being the benefits of digitalization far outweigh the risks.
In my opinion, the key to growth in the short term, and the survival of BPO services in the medium to long term, is the integration of digital solutions into the internal operation and their provision to clients. Digitalization contributes to the attainment of these goals not only through the improvement of efficiency – it also ensures scalability, and which is even more important perhaps, it provides an opportunity to people to engage in activities they are really good in; such are, especially intuition and value judgment; meanwhile machines are used for tasks for which they were designed for in the first place, like solving tasks involving a high number of repetitions.
Digitalization or automation?
At this point, it is worth making a short diversion to make distinction between digitalization and automation. The two terms are often used in similar sense, but it is important to point out that although there is an overlap between the two, they do not mean the same thing.
We have already defined digitalization: it is the use of digital technologies.
Automation, on the other hand, means the use of machines to do certain activities, instead of humans. In fact, automation existed even before our time(!) – just think, for example, of the water-operated timing devices or the “alarm clock” shown in the picture. And we can speak about digital automation when we use digital technology to carry out processes instead of people.
What topics will be discussed in our upcoming posts?
- Automation – engine of the 21st century industrial revolution
- Automation possibilities in the accounting services market
- What is the paperless office?
- Digitalization and IT security
- Era of digital transformation: evolution of management thinking and methodology
- Digitalization of process and people management – Some aspects and challenges
- ... et cetera…
Join us to go along this evolutionary ‘blog journey’. 😊
We are confident that it is very interesting and useful to review and interpret the most important achievements and benefits of the digital revolution.
Next post is coming soon…