Difference between digitalization & industrialization phases?

I was reading an article and realized that people sometimes get confused with different features of these two disruptive phenomenon. First has made huge impact already and second is impacting some areas, big wave of digitalization is still just forming.

From my point of view industrialization was a phase where same thing was just done faster, more efficiently and in automated manner. Physical machinery and innovation there were key drivers to this change.

Digitalization has started from different point of view. Driver has been innovation in software and assets related are usually scalable without physical limitations, thus growth rates can be really fast.

Key driver for digitalization is, instead of just doing same thing faster and more automated way, to do something completely new, grow fast and start with small investment.

This will have huge impact on different industries through increased competition. Industrialization gave competitive advantage “just” within the industry company was working. Digitalization can open paths to move over industry borders. It can break existing industries or even create new ones.

Digitalization makes companies to rethink competitive situation, but it also opens completely new arenas for co-operation between different players. Important thing to prepare for this is the ability to move fast and change own role in value chain.


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