Shipping organizations face intense pressure to operate more efficiently and many are adopting new technology to be more productive. But beware as research shows over half of those investments into new technology fail due poor management according to a report in Forbes.
“Why do so many technology projects fail – and fail so miserably? From my experience, it’s usually not tech problems that derail tech projects. In fact, 54 percent of IT project failures can be attributed to poor management – while only 3 percent are due to technological problems.” Forbes, September 13, 2016
Too often, technology projects are deemed ‘IT’ projects and relegated to the IT department, regardless of what the project actually is. But for any project to work, it needs strong leadership from the top down. If a project doesn’t have buy-in and support from C-level executives, as well as specific department leaders, it’s hard to get employees on board and hard to know who is in charge when leadership questions arise. (Source: Forbes)
A panel of industry leaders was convened to explore the challenge of “Managing Technology Change” in shipping. The discussion was moderated by Alisdair Pettigrew, MD of BLUE Communications. Alisdair was joined by panelists Greg Ogburn, Client Services Director at SEDNA and Maurizio Pilu, VP Digital Innovation, Lloyd’s Register Group.
Six Key Insights
Six key insights emerged from this discussion on how shipping organizations can successfully manage technology change:
Technology as an enabler of growth, not a cost
For some organisations, innovation is a board-level priority. For other organisations, innovation is led at the operational level. Both can work, but the priority is to see technology not as a cost, but as an enabler of competitiveness and growth.
Identify the business impact; at all levels
To secure and retain C-suite buy-in, identify and articulate the business impacts of the investment, including its potential for reducing risks faced by the organisation. For some C-suite decision-makers, risk management will be a key corporate priority. For others in the business, the impact will be the difference that it makes to their daily tasks – how does it make their work simpler, faster and more effective?
Invest in the metrics to demonstrate success
To make a compelling case for investment – and to prove the value of the technology through a robust ROI – establish your metrics and gather your data at an early stage.
Culture is key
The culture of an organisation when it comes to the adoption of new technology will be a critical factor in success or failure. Just as there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ tech solution, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ culture, but every technology rollout programme must to tailored to the culture of the organisation.
Support your internal champions and early users
Your internal champions and early users are crucial to the success or failure of technology change. Early investment in supporting them and encouraging them to work with their colleagues to answer their questions and address any concerns can make a big difference in delivering a successful launch.
Learn from others – but know your own requirements
You’re not the first team or organisation to go through this, no matter how idiosyncratic your industry. Listen to others and learn from their experiences. But at the same time, don’t overlook your particular requirements, underestimate the need to tailor your solution or assume that what worked for others will work for you.