The world is accelerating digitalisation across all industries and business operations, as we seek solutions to improve safety, efficiency and transform to more sustainable living and working.
As our customers’ operations are increasingly smart and connected, requiring more advanced network integration and digital solutions, so our services are evolving to meet these sophisticated needs. That’s why we have reorganised our own operations and created a new, dedicated team – the Digital Unit – to focus on digital innovation and new technology, led by Nicolas Furge.
Nicolas is a visionary with extensive experience in driving change in the technology and communications sectors. His recent interview in TradeWinds outlines his plan to create a ‘Maritime Cloud’ and how this scaling up will increase our penetration of vessel monitoring and performance applications to our maritime customers. It will also increase the uptake of digital services for ship operators including a variety of technologies to automate and deliver IT as a managed service.
We were delighted when our entry-level IT solution ITLink Monitor recently passed the 1,000-ship milestone. Interest in this solution for simplified IT management and cyber compliance increased, in part due to the IMO2021 regulations requiring ships to demonstrate procedures for maintaining cyber hygiene, but the overriding benefit is its easy adoption.
400 of these 1000 vessels have already supplemented this solution with ITLink’s advanced managed service that provides enhanced cyber security as well as standardisation of IT infrastructure and management of operating systems and applications from shore. Nicolas highlighted in the Tradewinds article that 10-15% of our customers buy the highest level of a most advanced suite of IT tools. And with Marlink’s cyber security team detecting more than 30 cyber threats on every vessel, every month on average, the need for a robust and secure network onboard and onsite can’t be overstated.
The capture and analysis of vessel operational data is another key area of development at Marlink, and we have developed our own automation tools and platform that can connect with 95% of bridge equipment and 90% of propulsion systems. We have also partnered with specialist providers of analytic content for vessel monitoring, routing and weather information as well as the equipment makers. Look out for more news of BridgeLink soon!
Nicolas believes that maritime access to standard applications will normalise over the next 10 years:
"We need to make sure that the access to those standard applications in the cloud is made possible, most probably by better bandwidth, but it is not any easy migration. We will rethink the way the IT architecture is done on board. We need to work at both ends – in the cloud and on the ship."
Our Digital Solutions house will continue to expand and we have many new recruits bringing their skills and experience to our expert team over the coming months. We’ll be keeping you updated with this exciting evolution to go Above and Beyond for our customers in this changing digital landscape.