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Understanding the learning curve of new maritime digital solutions

In recent years, maritime industries have witnessed a surge in the adoption of digital solutions, ranging from fleet management systems to predictive maintenance tools. This shift represents a fundamental change in supply chain operations, promising increased efficiency, cost savings, and enhanced safety measures. Embracing maritime digital solutions has become imperative for staying competitive and efficient. 

The digital transformation process, however, is not without its challenges. According to a Wrike report, over 80% of workers feel anxious about new technology and processes, which may lead to hesitancy in adopting new digital workflows.

This blog sheds light on the learning curve of adopting new maritime digital solutions, offering insights and strategies to navigate this transformative journey.

What is a learning curve?

A learning curve represents the gradual improvement in efficiency, productivity, and cost-effectiveness as employees acquire knowledge and proficiency in using and adapting to emerging or unfamiliar technological tools, systems, or innovations.

Implementing digital processes and technology without a well-defined strategy often leads to two scenarios:

1) Employees struggle to embrace new methods and return to outdated or less efficient practices. 

2) There's potential for confusion or a lack of awareness about the full capabilities available.

These outcomes hinder businesses from realising the maximum return on investment when integrating new software into their current operations. 

Overcoming the barriers to digital transformation in maritime

For many maritime organisations, the prospect of digital transformation may be met with apprehension. The perceived scale of change can lead to stakeholders' resistance. The challenge lies not only in the implementation of digital technology but also in ensuring seamless integration into existing workflows. And you also need to train your team, which can pose a steep learning curve. 

Top concerns include:

Technological adoption

Working with unfamiliar technology can feel overwhelming. Choosing the right digital tools and ensuring seamless integration into existing operations can be complex. Many stakeholders may worry about a digital skill gap or lack of knowledge to navigate this shift. 

Job security

Employees are understandably worried about their jobs whenever new technology is introduced. They might wonder if their current skills will still be valuable or if their roles might change or become obsolete. This concern about job security highlights the need for clear communication and support during technological transition. 

Change management

Employees accustomed to traditional methods and legacy systems may be reluctant to embrace new technologies, leading to potential disruptions in operations. A study by the digital adoption platform WalkMe reveals that companies that incorporate effective change management are 47% more likely to meet their objectives compared to the 30% that did not include it in their strategy.

Data security concerns

Successful digital adoption requires adopting new and improved security measures. Embedding security measures into newly implemented business models and workflows is often challenging for organisations.

Cost considerations

While digital solutions promise long-term gains, the initial investment can be substantial. It's essential to weigh the costs against the anticipated benefits. This financial aspect of digital transformation is a practical concern for businesses. 

⚒️Adopting digital solutions doesn’t need to be a disruptive process. Learn how digital transformation unlocks maritime efficiency

Different stages of the technology learning curve in maritime 

Navigating the waves of digital transformation in maritime isn't always smooth sailing. There is a technology learning curve comprising these stages:

Initiation phase

Here, businesses identify their specific needs and select technologies that align with operational objectives. This phase emphasises the importance of structured training and orientation programs to establish a robust foundation for the transition.

Implementation phase

This phase involves the practical deployment of carefully chosen digital solutions. Ensuring seamless integration with existing systems is paramount, as is providing comprehensive training to the workforce. 

Optimisation phase 

Through regular evaluations and feedback, the goal here is to fine-tune the digital systems to achieve peak performance, extracting maximum value from the investment. Efficiency gains and operational streamlining become the primary objectives, propelling the maritime operation to heightened productivity.

Mastery phase

This phase represents the realisation of the transformative potential of these technologies. Continuous monitoring and periodic updates ensure operations remain finely tuned and competitive in an ever-evolving industry landscape.

Navigating the learning curve for maritime digital transformation

To ensure a seamless transition to a digitally-driven company, we propose this seven-step guide:

1. Planning

The project's initial phase involves meticulous planning to set a strong foundation. Once the core team is in place, the scope is confirmed and the project's objectives, deliverables, and limitations are clearly defined. 

Activity planning follows, involving the development of a detailed plan that outlines tasks, milestones, and timelines. It’s also critical to identify and engage key stakeholders. This phase also includes setting up governance protocols to establish decision-making procedures and communication channels. 

2. Solution design

The solution design phase focuses on creating the blueprint for the project. It begins with developing a kickoff deck with all planning and governance information. A technical setup guide outlines the necessary configurations and integrations. The configuration guide is validated, aligning with the project's objectives.

3. Build

This phase involves configuring the solution based on the identified requirements. The project plan specifies integrating external systems or tools, making it a crucial step in this phase.

4. Testing

The testing phase ensures the solution's functionality and reliability. A comprehensive testing plan is developed, covering all aspects of the solution. Specific testing scenarios are defined to evaluate critical functionalities. 

Testing is executed rigorously, with results documented. Identified bugs or issues are prioritised and resolved, focusing on critical concerns first.

5. Training

The training phase prepares users for the solution. Superusers are provided with introductory training sessions to familiarise them with their roles. In addition, you conduct discovery sessions with superusers to gather additional insights and fine-tune the solution.

End-users can log in and receive comprehensive training sessions to ensure they are well-versed in the solution. You can also conduct workflow and Q&A sessions to address any queries and provide additional guidance.

6. Launch

The launch phase marks the transition from preparation to full-scale operation. A go/no-go decision is made after assessing the project's readiness. You must establish risks and mitigation plans to ensure a smooth launch. Once all preparations are complete, you can launch the solution and conduct daily calls to address questions and concerns.

7. Pilot

Following the launch, the project enters the pilot or hypercare phase, providing immediate support and addressing emerging issues. This includes maintaining a log of questions and issues for effective tracking and resolution. Monitor the stability of the solution and document low-priority issues for future updates.

You can also generate periodic adoption reports to track user adoption trends. The pilot phase concludes with a formal exit sign-off, signifying the project's successful transition to stable operation.

Learn how digitalisation revolutionises maritime businesses for increased agility, resilience, and sustainability while reducing operational costs.

Master your digital learning curve with Sedna

Embracing technology can be a game-changer for business. Understanding how to leverage and integrate maritime digital solutions is crucial for a seamless transition to a more technologically advanced way of working.  Modernising your email system is a crucial step towards streamlining maritime communication and operations. It is simple, easy to use, and has a short learning curve. 

Sedna offers a purpose-built email management platform that minimises the need for extensive training. Our intuitive interface enables swift adaptation and workflow optimization, eliminating the frustration of a steep learning curve. Sedna simplifies your digital learning curve with its user-friendly solution, saving you time and enhancing efficiency.

Sign up for a demo to see how Sedna can simplify your maritime tech stack and help you stay ahead.

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