Wärtsilä report: Digitalization fears threaten maritime progress


Denmark – According to Wärtsilä’s “Debunking the Mythical Beasts of Maritime Digital Transformation” report, even though 78% of industry professionals concur that change and technological innovation are good for the maritime industry, nearly half (45%) admit to having a volatile attitude towards technology and over a third (36%) say they are actively resistant to change.

According to the report, up to 18% of respondents do not believe that the industry as a whole understands digitalization and why it is necessary.

Over two thirds (68%) of industry professionals believe it is difficult to digitalize existing infrastructure and retrofit vessels, and more than half (56%) agree that the time and cost implications associated with digital transformation projects are too high. This research sheds light on these fears and misconceptions. Additionally, 63% of respondents think that sailors lack the knowledge and abilities necessary to meet the demands of modern technology.

On the plus side, though, the study also shows a clear path forward. It was found that 88% of industry professionals agreed that greater collaboration between industry actors would be essential to making digital transformation a reality. However, only 70% of them thought that digitalization was necessary and had benefits. Significantly, 64% of respondents acknowledge that people are more important to digital transformation than technology, therefore success won’t be achievable without early support from a bigger percentage of marine sector professionals.

Revealing myths

The “Debunking Maritime Myths of Digital Transformation” paper from Wärtsilä examines attitudes about digital transformation among maritime professionals in the US, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. It reveals the unexpected myths impeding advancement and discusses how organizations can overcome major obstacles to achieve a brighter future for everyone.

The paper presents a vision for a connected ecosystem from ship to shore and beyond, a maritime ecosystem capable of enhancing everyone’s sustainability, safety, and compliance.