Standardisation needed for digitalisation

Digitalisation panel Jean-Paul Rodrigue (centre) with Theo Notteboom and TOC Events Worldwide's Rachael White at TOC Europe 2019. Picture: Rebecca Jeffrey

One of the main challenges to digitalisation is standardisation and a communal operating system in maritime is needed, the Professor of Global Studies and Geography at Hofstra University has stressed.

Speaking at TOC Europe 2019, Jean-Paul Rodrigue said that competing platforms will eventually become “counterproductive”.

“We are eventually going to need to have some kind of communal operating system,” he said. There is a very big power gain in the background surrounding this.”

He added that the more parties involved in digitalisation the more risk there is. “The more you put actors into the system, the more you increase exponentially the complexity, the more something can go wrong. That’s the problem with digitalisation, it creates by itself new forms of risk.”

Using the example of vehicles, he said he noticed a growing number of cars being sent for repair because of defective IT and sensors. He noted it’s not because the vehicle breaks down mechanically. It’s because the IT that is supporting it, or a sensor, is down and that creates problems. “This is big risk and we don’t know how big this is, we’ll find out,” he added.

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