It’s well known that shipping is at a technological turning point. However, like most trends there’s a heap of jargon and buzz words that come with it. Three of the usual suspects are: ‘digitisation’, ‘digitalisation’ and ‘digital transformation’. But what are they, why are we hearing them mentioned more often and why is it important to know the difference?
Definition: The conversion from analogue to digital technologies.
(E.g. vinyl record players to CD players)
From the moment Telex machines and faxes appeared in the 1970s and 80s, to the internet and smart phones through the 90s to modern day, everyday life has slowly been digitised on an increasing basis. Shipping is no different and we’ve seen digital technology established in the sector without too much fuss.
Definition: A strategy or process that goes deeper than the simple implementation of technology – designed to create substantial change to a business model or industry to be more digital
(E.g. Blockbuster to Netflix)
This is perhaps where shipping starts to lag behind, as many other industries are further down the road to digitalisation we are. When internet banking first arrived, people were slow to put their trust in it. Twenty years on, paying bills, setting up accounts and transferring money at the tap of a button is not just common, it’s a consumer expectation. And it’s that simplicity and efficiency which Maritech aims to bring to shipping. We believe that it should be as easy to sort a client contract on your iPhone as it is to make an impulse Amazon purchase.
Definition: A people-focussed process, grounded in technology, that signifies a cultural shift for businesses as entire approaches are ‘transformed’ to be more customer and employee-centric
(E.g. the emergence of Salesforce as a means of managing customer relationships)
Digital transformation in the shipping industry is the next step. But to achieve it, it’s vital that we think people first, not technology first. Relationships and people have always been the cornerstone of our industry, and it’s essential this isn’t lost as we become more accustomed to new ways of working.
At Maritech, one of the phrases we live by is ‘built by shipping professionals, for shipping professionals’. By keeping this at the forefront of our approach to software development, our modules will continue to enhance the way that relationships are made and maintained, rather than replace them. In doing so, we’re safeguarding our industry’s heritage as much as shaping its future.
To find out more about how Sea/ can help futureproof your business, request a demo below