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What’s digitization? – the opportunities and advantages

What word do you associate with digitization? Computer? Efficiency? Transformation? Smart Home? All of them are correct and the word itself can mean so much more!

Originally, the term "digitization" referred to the conversion of analog data into digital file formats. In the course of time, people also spoke of a digital change, or in other words a digital transformation. This

process describes the interaction of digital data and digital applications. But how did it come about and what are the advantages and opportunities of digitization? You can read the answers to these questions in the following article.

Digitization – how it all started

The digitization walked its first steps during the era of industrialization and automation.

 

The industrial revolution changed the world: what people had laboriously created with their hands was slowly but surely replaced by machine work. This can be explained particularly well using the example of yarn production. A worker at the spinning wheel laboriously stretches wool to yarn threads. By the 18th century, this technique had hardly changed at all. In 1764 the "Spinning Jenny" was developed in England - a machine with which a worker could spin up to eight threads at the same time. This example shows that people were already thinking about saving

time and efficiency, because the "Spinning Jenny" did the work of eight workers. In addition, there was the mechanical loom, which was operated by a steam engine. This meant that fabrics could now be mass-produced in factories instead of small runs.

 

This laid the foundation for industrialization. Machines were increasingly used in agriculture and increased food production, which also led to population growth. The more people, the more food and goods were needed and produced, which was only possible with the help of mass production. The industrial revolution itself has not only changed the 18th century but has shaped the world to this day - from manufacturing, mechanical production and assembly line work, to the invention of the microprocessor, and finally industry 4.0 as a new era of automation in which we find ourselves today.

What characterizes industry 4.0?

The term "Industry 4.0" - which in Germany is often used as a synonym for digitization - will not appear until 2011. This term stands for the fourth stage of industrialization, in which people and machines are networked by modern information and communication technologies. In Germany, people are convinced that digitization will save time and increase efficiency. This is one of the findings of a recent trend study by EARSandEYES GmbH. 76 percent of the respondents were of the opinion that digitization facilitates access to knowledge and education and even 60 percent are convinced that an economic upswing would be unthinkable without digitization.

More flexible, more intelligent, more efficient production and the development of new business models - this is what the industry promises 4.0.

 

Where is digitization used in everyday life?

Today, the use of digital technologies is part of the everyday life of the majority of people. This year too, Postbank has conducted a study on digitization and the behavior of German citizens with regard to the use of digital media and the Internet. The digital study showed that Germans spend an average of around 49.9 hours a week on the Internet. This is just under 10 hours more than the average working week of a full-time employee. A Digital Native even spends a proud 65 hours per week online.

 

The opportunities and advantages of digitization in everyday life

Digitization does not only mean "World Wide Web", "Online Shopping" or "Siri and Alexa". Today, the possibilities are endless, because we are all networked worldwide. Whether Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime, you can communicate privately and commercially quickly, efficiently and inexpensively or even free of charges. As a result, digital collaboration has increasingly become a priority in every company. We are not only talking about home office regulations here, but also about online meetings, webinars and even online further education and study places. The digital world knows no national borders.

Another advantage of digitization is the optimization of the industry with the help of artificial intelligence. 61.4 percent of the Swiss companies surveyed (MSM Research, Statista 2019) are convinced that digital, operational processes - from production to delivery - are becoming increasingly important. So, what used to be often done with pen and paper in the physical world is now increasingly being done in digital processes. This is particularly noticeable in the real estate industry, which is slowly waking up. Artificial intelligence and real estate digitization are used to simplify processes. Large construction projects save costs, potential and problems are identified early, due diligences can be carried out faster and more efficiently, and people think more environmentally friendly and sustainable because paper requirements are reduced. Thanks to Convaron's floor plan analysis, important and large amounts of data are digitized and clearly presented in a database. If desired, all this floor plan information and plans can be visualized.

 

Advantages of the digital world:

  • Information & data accessible from anywhere

  • More efficiency, transparency & planning - data can be read by machine and thus be processed and searched multiple times, but also more quickly

  • Compression algorithms significantly reduce memory requirements

  • Possibility of long-term archiving without loss of quality and information

  • Cost savings in all areas

  • Environmentally friendly, because of low paper consumption

 

Risks of a digital world:

  • High conversion costs

  • Digital life is changing rapidly - we think back to outdated floppy disks, CD drives, but also computers and laptops - the technology doesn't wait.

  • Cyberattacks are today a high risk for all those who work with sensitive data.

Digitization – where is mankind?

Digitization covers all areas of life. Our friendships, family situations and private communication in general are digital. We buy food, furniture and clothing online. We are more location-independent and much more flexible. However, this rapid change also means that many people, especially digital immigrants (people who were not born in the era of digitalization but have to learn how to use digital technologies now), sometimes feel overwhelmed.

But what does digitalization mean in the world of work? This means on the one hand a transformation and reorientation of business processes, and on the other hand a change in the traditional workplace. That is why the fear of digitization is still great. According to the DIHK survey (Statista 2018), 38 percent of the German citizens surveyed believe that digitization is destroying jobs. Yes, the traditional jobs will become superfluous, but one must also bear in mind that many new jobs and professions will be created with the help of digitization. This is not only true for IT departments. This change affects all business processes and departments. New job profiles are emerging in online and digital marketing, in innovation management, in special areas such as BIM, AI management or data science and many more.

 

Conclusion: Where does digitization lead?

Germans are increasingly using applications that make their everyday lives easier and are integrating these digital services more and more into their daily lives. If you don't play along here, you'll lose the connection.

Nevertheless, there are still areas that are not affected by digitization and where much is still done manually. In government institutions or even in the real estate sector, a lot of importance is still attached to paper documents. "Where will the real estate industry be in ten years' time?" We asked Dr. Chris Richter, Managing Director of Animus (IT software for real estate companies) at this year's REAL PropTech event. "The acceptance of young people in relation to digitization is increasing day by day. I hope that the real estate industry will be digitized to a much greater extent, which will ultimately lead to higher speed and increased efficiency. The real estate industry needs a little support from the PropTechs in sub-areas around the world. So digitisation is basically about reducing inefficiency". - says Dr. Chris Richter.

Another characteristic of digitization is that it increasingly dissolves the boundaries between reality and virtuality. Convaron and VRnow have already followed this trend and offer walk-in spaces for the modern real estate market.

Digitize and visualize your real estate. Contact us!