Last Word Opinions

The Digital Transformation of testing

by Alex Apostolov, USA 

When we read the articles in this issue of the magazine, we notice that even that the authors come from different continents, what they have written describes various aspects of the digital transformation of testing. That is why I think it makes sense to say a few words about it. 

Digital transformation, digitization and digitalization are interrelated concepts that play an important role in every aspect of our everyday lives. They are changing the modern business landscape, fundamentally altering how organizations operate, deliver value and interact with their customers. 

While these terms are often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings and implications for our industry that is also undergoing the shift towards a more digital world.  

Digitization refers to the process of converting analog information into digital format. This is not only converting the analog current and voltage signals into streams of IEC 61850 sampled values, but also transforming physical documents, such as a one-line diagram into a digital format that can be stored, processed, and analyzed by computers. Digitization increases efficiency and reduces the reliance on physical interfaces and records. 

Digitalization, on the other hand, goes a step further by leveraging digitized information to optimize processes, improve efficiency and enhance decision-making. It involves the use of digital technologies and digitized data to impact how work gets done and transform processes to meet changing requirements. Digitalization can lead to the creation of new business models and opportunities, such as digital testing products and services. However, it requires a change in the organizational mindset to embrace digital technologies and their potential.

Digital transformation encompasses a broader scope, representing a radical rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people and processes in pursuit of new business models, driven by changes in the electric power industry around renewable energy resources and new technology.

Together, digitization, digitalization and digital transformation offer a roadmap for utilities and industry to evolve and thrive in the digital age. By digitizing data, digitalizing processes and embracing digital transformation, the electric power industry can achieve higher levels of system reliability, efficiency and security.