The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an inevitable surge in the use of digital technologies due to social distancing norms and nationwide lockdowns. People and organizations all over the world have had to adjust to new ways of work and life.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many had been slow to embrace digital technology, now companies recognize it can be a way to become more adaptable, and competitive. A report highlighted that the pandemic was a “universal disruptor and catalyst for digital transformation” and the adoption of digital technology in the Maritime sector will be three years ahead of previous estimates by the end of 2022.
Like all industries when the pandemic struck, shipping companies needed to find new ways of working as lockdowns, remote working and people stuck on ships for months on end changed how they worked.
Though the pandemic created a space for digital inclusion, however digitalization doesn’t just happen overnight. The very first step, Shipping executives had to make was to easy process involving the movement of data from paper-based systems into digital formats that can be shared across the business. However, whilst the technology drive continued, Shipping companies aimed to seek more sophisticated outcomes, with demand for high-quality data and analytics being paramount to the recovery. Digital technology proved to be a simple way for them to get this. Along with this Digitalization also created a new kind of crew, training them to be more aware of a vessel’s operational profile, and engaging them with digital technologies when performing their roles. This indicated the readiness and will of the seafarers to engage with technology, rather than having it imposed upon them.
However, one of its key takeaways was the emphasized need for education and training among existing seafearers – to ensure they can up-skill as new technologies are introduced.
Alongside the evolving industry, is the accelerating rate at which maritime regulations are changing. This presents a challenge for ship owners, managers, and operators – more regulations, from more regulators, and changing more quickly than ever.
Until now, the best solution for this challenge has been installing software onboard ships with digital publications. The software solutions however came with problems of their own – complicated installations, restrictive licenses, updating errors, and cybersecurity issues to name just a few.
Those that had already adopted cloud-based digital solutions found that they could pretty much carry on as usual as they had data and information stored in one place, which was accessible to everyone on land or sea from any device. As data is centralized in the cloud, important information such as maritime instructions, crew schedules, and payroll data can be accessed by everyone involved, which speeds up communications and productivity.
Shipping companies, therefore, are focusing on the future and increasingly turning to digital technology to streamline operations, becoming more efficient, and make cost savings.
However, seafarers should bear in mind that the use of instant communication tools provided with digitalization must be done so carefully, responsibly, and with regard to negative consequences.
Here are some pros and cons of Internet Onboard Ships:
Keeping abreast with current affairs and sporting events.
Serves as a second / back up line of communication
Emergencies at home can be immediately communicated
Access to Social Media
Referring to the vast information database
Onboard Social Life
Rest Hours: Unrestricted internet access to use the facility unnecessarily and at inappropriate times.
Social Media & Distraction
Over to you…
What according to you are the biggest pros and cons of internet onboard ships? Let’s know in the comments below.