November 18, 2020

Digitalisation - it is not only about saving costs anymore

Many companies saw the use of technology primarily as an easy way of cutting expenses but the focus has changed.

By Maximilian Hagemann

Digitalisation - it is not only about saving costs anymore

For many years, technology’s main role has been perceived as an enabler to cut back on costs. But under new circumstances, where companies are forced to find new ways of working and to exchange information with their stakeholders and partners, the way we see technology changes.

A recent study by McKinsey has highlighted that responses to COVID-19 have sped up the adoption of digital technologies and rethinking of processes by several years and suggests many of these changes could be here for the long haul. Just a few months have accelerated the digitalisation in most companies by three to four years. Even though there has been a reluctance to change and to adopt new technologies in the past, this increase in digitalisation has also been confirmed for the maritime industry. According to satcom specialist IEC Telecom the demand for digital technology has risen tenfold as maritime businesses embrace new ways of working during the coronavirus pandemic.

But it is not only the pace of progress that has changed, it is also about how digitalisation and its impact on businesses are perceived.

According to McKinsey, the focus on how technology can benefit businesses has shifted. While in 2017, more than 50% of respondents stated that the most important priority of their digital strategy was to save costs, in 2020 only 10% saw this as its main role. While it stays true that the use of innovative technology increases efficiency, streamlines processes and thereby saves costs, more than half of respondents now see technology’s core value in modernising their core capabilities and in gaining the competitive advantage.

The role of digitalisation has changed from being perceived as a way to cut costs to being a critical component of a company’s ability to compete.

This statement is also confirmed by McKinsey's findings that many companies that had already invested in modern technology and innovation of processes before the crisis were able to achieve revenue increases during the last months compared to competitors that are now struggling. The technological capabilities of companies stand out as key factors of success during the crisis.

The current situation increases the pressure on the maritime industry, changing our daily life and putting established ways of working to the test. The accessing and exchanging of information, as well as the collaboration with colleagues and partners, becomes difficult, if not even impossible. To overcome these challenges, a company's data needs to be efficiently managed and used, now more than ever. When time is money, having access to information in a timely manner, irrespective of location, is the lynchpin to success.

The interconnection of offices, fleet and partners is vital for continued success
The interconnection of offices, fleet and partners is vital for continued success

Gain a competitive edge

Of the 12 changes the survey asked about, respondents across sectors and geographies stated that remote working and cloud migration are the two most cost-effective resolutions, and it is expected that these changes to everyday operations will remain.

Keeping the long-term changes in mind, this is where your company can gain a competitive advantage by acquiring an innovative software solution to not only handle the current situation but all future challenges as well.

Cloud Fleet Manager (CFM) gives you all the tools you need to deal with challenging circumstances while significantly reducing your expenses and giving you a competitive edge. With more than 30 modules for all departments in a shipping company, CFM makes sure that you and your employees are prepared and enables reliable productivity – no matter when or where. It allows you to get rid of single-purpose applications, Excel sheets and data silos by centralising all your data, while making it available to all your employees regardless of time or location - the only thing needed is a web browser and an internet connection. With modules such as the CFM Partner Portal, you can even share relevant business data with external partners without the need to pick up the phone or to forward information. Thanks to an intuitively usable complementary software for the use onboard, there is no more need to exchange information with captains and crews using the phone or email. Employees in the office, crews at sea, external partners, and colleagues that are working remotely all have access to one central knowledge pool.

To find out more on how your company can benefit from digitalising your processes, simply fill out the form to schedule your free consultation or presentation of the system.

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