Dematerialization, Digitization, Digitalization and Digital Transformation.

Dematerialization, Digitization, Digitalization and Digital Transformation.

Dematerialization, Digitization, Digitalization and Digital Transformation: A Compass for Orientation

Dematerialization, digitization, digitalization and digital transformation. How to get your bearings - insights from Roberto Di Martino Every SWS

We are clearly in an era of "digital revolution," which is rapidly changing the way we work, interact and live our lives. This metamorphosis has generated a range of terminologies that are sometimes misunderstood and confused with one another.

I have been involved in Digital Transformation for some time, and I often find that certain terms, which have a definite meaning, are used interchangeably, almost as if they were synonyms.

Definitions such as Dematerialization, Digitization, Digitalization, and Digital Transformation are frequently used as casually as possible and without us dwelling on their real meaning. The result: misunderstandings and unfulfilled expectations.

Let's see if some clarity is possible.


It is aimed ateliminating the need for physical media to store, manage and transmit information. This reduces the need for physical space, production and/or transmission costs, and environmental impact.

The conversion of paper documents by "image" scanning, which produces a digital copy of them (for example: "raster" PDF or JPG files), immediately comes to mind. But this is just one example, as Dematerialization can be applied in many other contexts, effectively extending to any process that intends to eliminate the need for tangible media.

For example, in the case of audio, Dematerialization may be the transfer from physical media such as magnetic tapes or vinyl to digital formats such as MP3, AAC or WAV files, which can be stored, managed and transmitted electronically. In the case of video, it may refer to the replacement of media such as VHS tapes with digital formats such as MP4, AVI or MKV files. Even in these cases, Dematerialization involves the ability to store, manage and transmit video through electronic media.

It should be noted that Dematerialization activity can occur at various stages of the information management process. It can be at the origin, whereby the creation of physical media is completely avoided, thus achieving the greatest benefit in terms of efficiency, savings and minimization of environmental impact. But it can also occur at later stages, such as when the initial producer of the information sends it on a physical medium and the recipient dematerializes it, for example by scanning a paper document with the aim of obtaining a digital copy that can be stored or transferred more easily. Conversely, one sometimes encounters "high inefficiency" processes, in which a document is received digitally, printed by the recipient to write a manual note on it, and then scanned and stored digitally and finally ... destroyed. It goes without saying that such processes cause unnecessary labor, cost, environmental impact and waste--completely avoidable by simply optimizing the process through proper use of digital technologies.


It concerns the conversion of analog information into digital information. In practice, it is not limited to the removal of material media but deals with the transformation of content into digital format. This contemplates the conversion of text, images, audio and video into digital data that can be processed, stored and transmitted electronically in a better way than described above. An example of Digitization is the scanning of a paper document apt to create a digital version of it, somewhat as described in the case of Dematerialization, but applying during the scanning also an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) or ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) process, which extracts the text by interpreting its graphical representation and generates a PDF file "with text." The content thus becomes copyable and searchable, but it is not really processable with evolved processes because no rules are applied to classify and structure the data and information. Digitization is applied in processes where content is given in analog format on material media and it is sufficient to have a digital copy, without proceeding with processes of digitalization.


While Digitization is limited to the conversion of data from analog to digital, Digitalization goes further, classifying digital information (however obtained) to assign it a semantics that makes it informatically processable. For example, certain information is extracted and classified from a document, such as document type, author, title, date, body of text, as well as other specific data that may be of interest for later processing. The transformation of digital information into Metadata (achieved by classifying, organizing, and structuring it) enables improved or changed processes, business models, and interactions. Digitalization creates new business opportunities and optimizes existing resources through the integration of digital technologies and solutions, such as automation, digital signatures, artificial intelligence, big data, and IoT (Internet-of-Things).

Digital Transformation

Instead, Digital Transformation involves a radical change in an organization's approach and strategies. It is a renewal process that involves revising processes, skills, business models and technologies in order to create new ways of operating and generating value. Digital Transformation goes beyond the simple adoption of new technologies, as it also involves a cultural change within the organization.

It is important to emphasize that Digital Transformation is a transitional path. While it involves a radical change in an organization's approach and strategies, it can be applied gradually. This means that companies can progressively introduce new technologies, processes, and skills to adapt to the challenges and opportunities that emerge during the transformation journey. This scalable approach enables organizations to better manage the risks and investments associated with Digital Transformation and avoid facing too drastic or rapid changes that could create internal problems or turbulence.


In conclusion, although the terms Dematerialization, Digitization, Digitalization, and Digital Transformation may sound similar, each represents a distinct aspect of everyone's journey toward an increasingly digital world. Dematerialization eliminates the need for physical media, Digitization converts analog information into a digital format, Digitalization classifies and structures digital information in a way that enables process improvement through its processing, and Digital Transformation enables the redefinition of business strategies and the creation of new business models by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by digital technologies and requires a major shift in organizational strategy and culture.

Understanding these differences is critical for companies and individuals seeking to adapt and thrive in the digital age. Each process plays an important role in shaping our future, and together these concepts form the basis for continued development and innovation in technology, business and, ultimately, the very way we live.


Roberto Di Martino

Every Software Solutions Ltd.

CEO & Solutions Manager


Our team is here to help you manage SDSs and keep track of hazardous substances!

Digital transformation and green processes

Digital transformation and green processes

Digital transformation and green processes: staples of growth

Every Software Solutions' digital innovation is focused on health, safety and the environment with sustainability in mind

28/10/2022 – Il Sole 24 Ore

Today there is a lot of talk about Digital transformation of business processes to achieve productivity, competitiveness and growth goals, and there is a realization that the only possible growth can take place in compliance with sustainability principles. Compliance with environmental, social and governance criteria, the so-called ESG factors, direct the capital of investment communities, European funding and consumer choices more than ever before. Planning for sustainable business development has never been more important for a company's reputation, development and profits.

In terms of environmental sustainability, one of the most urgent goals defined by the UN 2030 Agenda is Goal 12, which aims for the environmentally sound management of chemicals and wastes in order to significantly reduce their release into the air, water and soil and minimize their negative impact on human health and the environment. Same goal is at the heart of the European Green Deal, which adopted the EU Strategy on Chemicals for Sustainability to reduce and phase out hazardous substances for a toxic-free environment.

Digital transformation and green processes - SDS FullService from Every SWS

Every SWS

Sustainable development is important for the company's reputation and profits

Primary objective and, in fact, in line with European chemical regulations and health, safety and environmental regulations, with which all companies involved in the chain of purchasing, production and use of chemicals already have to comply.

Those responsible for these areas (HSE), R&D departments and those involved in Sustainability reporting well know how complex it is to manage the enormous amount of chemical data and ever-changing regulations that must be taken into account to ensure compliance with standards, industry constraints and customer specifications. It is clear that implementing a corporate policy of compliance and environmental sustainability means being able to take advantage of effective management tools and, above all, being able to rely on digitalized and structured data to make correct and informed decisions and to obtain indices and measurements (KPIs) necessary for the reporting process.

Every Software Solutions addresses digitalization the process of managing Safety Data Sheets and the countless chemical information that must flow efficiently through the company and along the Supply Chain. Every Software Solutions addresses these issues with a completely innovative digital methodology to support Companies in every step of the chemical compliance and sustainability process. SDSFullService is the suite of solutions and services dedicated to these issues and can be viewed at

Our team is here to help you manage SDSs and keep track of hazardous substances!

digitalization and Sustainability

digitalization and Sustainability

digitalization and Sustainability

12/05/2021 – Il Sole 24 Ore

Imagine having to search for important information - vital to the security, for the sustainability and for business-detecting names and codes among thousands and thousands of pages, opening one by one hundreds of PDFs stored in network folders.

Imagine that you have to jot down this information manually, transcribing it or doing thousands, tens of thousands, of "copy/paste" between PDFs and a spreadsheet.

Imagine that as you do this work, some of the documents you are working on are replaced because you receive updated versions.

Imagine having to cross-check the data in those documents against some lists, regulations and specifications. Imagine that this process never ends--because in the meantime some of the documents have been replaced and some of the regulations have changed.

It sounds impossible... but such a process exists, is present in virtually every company, of every industry and size, and is concerned with managing information about the hazardous chemicals the company uses.

This information comes in specific documents, SDSs (Safety Data Sheets), which suppliers usually send to their customers as PDF documents. Each document consists of many pages, a minimum of a dozen, but sometimes many more, and each company has to manage hundreds and sometimes thousands (depending on the type and size of the company).

digitalization and sustainability with SDS FullService from Every SWS.

Digital Transformation: a bridge to the future

SDSs are used both to assess Chemical Risk, to determine Sustainability Indices, to check compliance with current Health, Safety and Environmental regulations , and to confirm to customers compliance with their Specifications regarding proscribed chemicals.

For Every Software Solutions, digitalization data is the lever to meet the challenges of Sustainability, Health, Safety and Environment

Every Software Solutions, which specializes in Cloud services concerning the management of processes based on digitalization business documents, to create efficiency in this context proposes Share-SDS Drive, a Solution that starts from a premise: transforming the information contained in SDSs into DIGITAL DATA, which can be processed using IT tools. Thus making them archivable, searchable and comparable with otherwise impossible automatisms.

To make this Solution efficient, Every Software Solutions has solved one of the main barriers that anyone who has approached this process manually has faced: the time it takes to digitalize this information.

The timeliness of the process is achieved through a service assisted by technology-unique data extraction from SDSs. These activities are handled by ChemParser, a company of which Every Software Solutions is a co-founder. This service makes it possible to drastically reduce the time of digitalization of the information, as well as the costs and inevitable errors that are made when this activity is done manually, thus making it possible to obtain a wealth of information and data analysis that would otherwise be impossible.

Share-SDS Drive is used by companies in every industry (e.g., Industrial, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Fashion) and of all sizes. 

Our team is here to help you manage SDSs and keep track of hazardous substances!

The management of the SDS archive.

The management of the SDS archive.

The management of the SDS archive.

digitalize, reorganize and optimize the circulation of documents in the company

Cosmetic Technology – 2019

Eduardo Affinito – Every Software Solutions


Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) are the primary source by which hazard and management information on substances and mixtures is conveyed throughout the supply chain. In the face of ever-changing regulations, and consequently a constantly updating body of data, companies often face difficulties in properly finding, consulting and evaluating the SDSs of chemicals on their premises. In some cases, the difficulties encountered may be caused by the failure of raw material suppliers to submit documents (either as first submissions or as systematic submissions of subsequent revisions) and the lack of effective checking of different versions of the same SDS, in many cases scattered among company locations or departments.
Presented below are the results of an analysis of key data regarding SDSs of substances and mixtures conducted in-house in a company with a real presence in the market, in order to demonstrate how digital management of these documents can simplify and optimize the circulation and use of unambiguous, up-to-date and correct information.

The digitalization of documents with SDS FullService


Over the years of operation, companies in general, and so do cosmetic companies, receive numerous Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) from their suppliers regarding the chemicals and mixtures that are purchased. In accordance with the legislation governing SDSs (Regulation (EC) No. 1906/2007 (1)), they are provided, either on paper or in electronic form, by the time the substance or mixture covered by the SDS is supplied. Thereafter, SDSs are revised (i) as soon as new information becomes available that may affect risk management measures or new information on hazards; (ii) when an authorization has been granted or denied; (iii) when a restriction has been imposed (1); and, in addition to these cases provided for in the regulation, whenever the supplier deems it appropriate to transmit updated versions, making appropriate changes.

In the risk assessment required under Legislative Decree No. 81 of April 9, 2008 (Consolidated Occupational Health and Safety Act, TUSL), the employer shall preliminarily determine the possible presence of hazardous chemical agents in the workplace and shall also assess the risks to the safety and health of workers arising from the presence of such agents, taking into consideration, in particular (and among other elements): a) their hazardous properties; b) the health and safety information communicated by the supplier through the relevant SDS.

In addition, under the TUSL, employers shall ensure that workers or their representatives have access to any SDS made available by the supplier (2). Similarly, Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 requires employers to make SDSs (or information documents where an SDS is not mandatory) of substances and mixtures available to all workers who use them or may be exposed to them in the course of their work (1).

In this framework, where it is easy to glimpse a wide movement of documents in a hopefully increasingly information-rich and up-to-date version, proper and accurate archiving is surely the starting point for any organizational process the company intends to set up.

In addition, with the arrival of new versions it would be necessary to have them immediately available so as to ascertain what elements have been changed and how they affect the assessments prepared in the company. However, previous SDSs should not be deleted, as it may be necessary to prove that one was in possession, at some time, of the previous version. Under the current regulations (1), each actor shall assemble all the information it needs to fulfill its obligations under the regulations and ensure its availability for a period of time of at least 10 years after it last manufactured, imported, supplied or used the substance or mixture, thus also in case of discontinuation of use of a particular product.

The filing of SDSs "on their own"

Initially, a large proportion of companies organize by creating a folder on a disk in the company's computer network, accessible by authorized personnel, where documents (usually in PDF format) are stored as they are transmitted by suppliers.

As time goes on, the number of documents available increases and it can become increasingly difficult to store them in a useful and unambiguously understandable way, as well as to find them. Recognizing files using name alone becomes virtually impossible, as each vendor uses a different nomenclature standard; therefore, attempts are made to make up for this by dividing SDSs into several network folders, but these soon begin to proliferate. In the most frequent cases, a folder is created for each vendor, in order to divide the mass of documents into many small, better manageable pieces.

It is not uncommon to find companies that, for production use of a few hundred products that come with an SDS, have a hundred network folders containing a couple of thousand documents.

In some cases, the company chooses to organize itself by equipping each production department or plant with only the SDSs within its competence (a concept that is in principle correct, not least to avoid the overinformation caused by anyone's indiscriminate access to information not within their competence or interest). In doing so, the matter is further complicated. Indeed, it is usual for PDF documents to be allocated in several folders, so when a new version of an SDS arrives, it should be distributed in several subfolders. Or, again, in cases where different versions relating to different languages of the same SDS are transmitted to the company (imagine the case of a distributor of raw materials who does not carry out rebranding work, who will resell the product in different markets, and who receives from its supplier different versions of the same document, marked with different names or dates), which contribute to the multiplication of archived documents and, likewise, to confusion.

In addition, the various delivery practices adopted by the various suppliers mean that any organizational procedure is further articulated: sometimes SDSs are delivered to the purchasing department, sometimes to the company'sH&S (Prevention and Protection Service Manager), and sometimes they are delivered with the goods and then received directly at the various plants. Many companies have tried to improve their ability to manage this complexity by, for example, compiling Excel sheets containing characteristic product data and, in the most virtuous cases, a link to the document stored in the appropriate folder. But even this method is complex to manage and, in most cases, you lose control of it in a short time.

In the medium term, the result is more or less always the same: the company finds itself managing many more documents than it should or could, and different people are likely to access outdated SDSs that have not been promptly updated in their own reference environment (computer or physical folder).

In doing so, in a short time we end up with duplicate, outdated SDSs or different versions in the various company sites, giving rise to confusion and possible errors. Hence the need to have solutions that actually help, with centralized and unified management of the documents received and digital processing of the data they contain.

Therefore, there is a need to implement a process that allows for the complete management of incoming SDSs in the company, including their receipt, content analysis, verification of the document's compliance with the requirements imposed by the regulations, highlighting of any hazard aspects that may have changed (and that could in some cases compromise the use of a given substance in the cosmetic sector), up to their use in production and the possible archiving of SDSs that are obsolete (because they have been replaced by a new version) or discontinued because they relate to products discontinued from production.

To this end, it was deemed appropriate to conduct an experimental study, using appropriate computer aids, to highlight, by means of a snapshot, what is the common status of document management (and SDSs in particular) in a formulation company, in order to identify appropriate and adoptable strategies in work contexts.

To continue reading and discover Materials, Methods and Results of the study conducted download the full article.

Our team is here to help you manage SDSs and keep track of hazardous substances!