Last week I was happy to participate in the ‘Breakfast Date: Accelerating Digitalization’ organized by Women in Tech Finland.
The digitalization topic is directly related to my thesis I’m currently writing in Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture. And even thought the big part of my thesis supposed to be about digitalization and the influence it has on our everyday life in general and public healthcare services in particular, it was so interesting to listen the speakers who are extremely fluent in their area and working at the very core of the digitalization processes. Two IoT professionals Henriikka Åkerman and Hanna Nikkilä were talking about their work and projects they were involved in,cloud technology and IoT with Microsoft Azure. The event took place at the Microsoft Flux co-working space and was organized by ‘Women in Tech, Finland Chapter’ community.
This morning gave me new insights to continue my writing, talks were very inspiring and educative. I’d like to thank the presenters and organizers for this opportunity, atmosphere and motivating discussions!
So, what the Digitalization is?
Digitalization is a process that transforming the way how we accessing, storing, creating and using information, products and services. It is the way of processing information that become possible with the new technologies. Digitalization changes the way how businesses (as well as individuals) can operate and manage their processes with different kind of data available for gathering, analyzing, and presenting. Without data collection and organizing the information in certain order the digitalization of services and businesses isn’t possible. As Henriikka told at the beginning of her lecture, if to break the digitalization as a process in pieces it is basically a cloud platforms and masses of data stored in it together with technologies that make it possible to collect, process, analyze and display this data for further use. The digitalization is making sense when people could actually collect, store, understand, interpret and use the data to create a value for themselves, other people, businesses and society.
At this moment the digitization of analog data is being replaced with the process of collecting the data that is initially digital, straight away from the original source, and this is a part of the Digitalization as a process and the phenomenon. Nowadays it is possible with the new technologies, sensors, digital devices (digital cameras for example) that collect and transmit data as digital signal to the storage and data centers. The adoption of the technologies and its ability to gather, store, process, analyze and represent the data made the global digitalization possible and useful for many businesses, individuals and society in general.
‘The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) traces the first uses of the terms ‘digitization’ and ‘digitalization’ in conjunction with computers to the mid-1950s. In the OED, digitization refers to “the action or process of digitizing; the conversion of analogue data (esp. in later use images, video, and text) into digital form. ‘Digitalization, by contrast, refers to ‘the adoption or increase in use of digital or computer technology by an organization, industry, country, etc.”
Digitalization and Digitization by SCOTT BRENNEN AND DANIEL KREISS · SEPTEMBER 8, 2014
Digitalization: what does it mean for designer?
For me as a designer it’s very important to keep up with new technology that are affecting the way people and businesses work and communicate with each other. That’s why my first question about digitalization and its development would be about how digitalization affects the designer’s work and what are the changes that I am as a professional should be aware of, how I could do it and use this knowledge for delivering up-to-date design expertise and services to my clients.
Digitalization is one of the triggers for service economy that let companies to get access to the customer’s data and analyze it to deliver better product. Digitalization is the driver for sharing economy, it allows users get access to products and services without owning it, but ‘renting’ it for certain period of time, so as sharing the service with other users, making the service and product more approachable and convenient for the wider audience. Process of digitalization and connecting people, products, services in one big massive cloud, ‘Internet of Everything’, created the field of knowledge and possibilities that we never had before. A great amount of data gathered every day through various sensors, people’s personal digital devices, data centers and so on.
The process of making sense of this masses of data, as well as making it beneficial for society in general inspired a lot of companies to change their business models, allowed them to find new markets and ways to develop their product and service portfolios and helped to create a better connection with their customers. And here a lot of opportunities for user experience designers, branding strategists as well as interface designers and specialists who work with information architecture and digitalizing the services. Nowadays designers taught how to understand users and how to be able to engage stakeholders in the development of digital service. It’s more and more a team-work than a solo-effort. User experience designer becomes a very common part of the team, that is working on digital reorientation of the business.