Watch out! Digital Iceberg ahead!

Some months into my new role, there hasn’t been too much time for writing work related articles – or at least writing something worth sharing. 

We all know that the maritime industry is facing numerous challenges, not only here in Norway, but globally. This always comes with new opportunities, but they don’t come for free. And especially not the biggest ones. The fourth industrial revolution is described by World Economic Forum’s CEO Scwhabe as a time where the fast fish will outsmart the big fish. Previous generations of success won’t secure the coming ones unless we develop and perform fast, smart and fierce.

As our globalized world is undergoing massive changes on so many levels, it is quite clear to us that this will affect our industry in ways we are yet to discover. Digitalisation is just one of many gamechangers that will make our current map deviate from the new reality. 

Towards Nor-Shipping 2017 we are raising the bar to contribute more pro-actively in this landscape. Not only aiming to deliver the leading maritime event week, but furthermore to contribute more pro-actively. We aim to provoke, challenge & inspire our industry – firmly believing that you don’t really move forward without making some waves.

In my mind, addressing this new reality can be illustrated through the following scenario; You find yourself at the wheels of a small boat adrift in a storm, gazing through thick mist at an iceberg barely visible and drifting towards you. Terrified, you try to find out if you can remain in your current position, or alternatively dodge it through some kind of clever maneuver. You wish that you had invested in some electronic equipment earlier, which would have come in handy at this stage. You know its out there, that its getting closer by the minute, heading straight towards you. But you lack the right equipment to see through the mist, thus cannot analyse the actual size, shape, speed or the potential impact it will cause om your boat. You close your eyes, somehow hoping that it will go away by itself or at least not hit until you have handed the helm over to the next skipper. Or do you??

I believe that the only way to deal with this specific iceberg is to get hold of the tools to see through the mist, build competence, experience, approach it pro-actively rather than waiting passively. And then jump right on it to find out for yourself what it is and how you can use it rather than have your boat destroyed by it. Which attitude do you chose for yourself when it comes to tackling the digital iceberg ahead?

In January, I am looking forward to join a great group of speakers (including some of my own role models) in Cebu, Philippines, for the Norway Maritime Conference. Under the topic Green Growth in a Blue Market, I’ll share some of my thougts on how digitalisation and sustainability issues can create new business opportunities for our industry in these times of turbulence. I think the transformational world-wide digital shift across all industries, in combination with a global maritime industry facing new requirements and an urgent need for renewing itself, represent the biggest opportunities for the Norwegian maritime industry since oil was discovered on our continental shelf.

The Norwegian maritime industry is equipped with a fantastic toolbox to meet the global and regional challenges – and this complex mix of elements can turn out to create the perfect storm based on our specific strengths. But jumping onto an iceberg in high waves takes courage, boldness and a bit of craziness. We’ve done it before as an industry – this is what we’re good at. This is the time to jump, swim and climb – facing the iceberg!


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