Inmarsat ‘Digital Wave’ Report Explores Importance Of Onboard Connectivity

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Inmarsat Maritime has launched a new report, exploring the growing importance of ‘always-on’ onboard connectivity as ships and their crew become increasingly reliant on digital technology.

Transforming Vessels 

The Digital Wave: Transforming vessels into floating offices and remote homes report draws on interviews and survey data to provide insight into how crews and shore-based teams are using digital technologies today. According to Inmarsat, in an era that sees ships functioning as ‘floating offices’, a reliable network connection optimizes vessel operations and enhances life on board. Equally, the consequences of any loss of connectivity on safety, efficiency, and seafarer welfare can be severe.

Recommendations Made

For ships to truly become the floating offices of the future, a seamless exchange of data, operational transparency, and proactive and informed decision-making is key. Uninterrupted remote communication and collaborative, always-on software supported by a seamless internet connection are essential enablers of the ship as a floating office concept. Furthermore, the report makes the following recommendations: 

  1. Choose a connectivity partner that delivers fully managed, seamless, reliable, and global connectivity service

It might seem obvious, but having a network that operates seamlessly in the background without constant thought is essential if a crew is to operate a productive, efficient, and safe vessel as a floating office.

2. Opt for systems that talk to one another

A vessel in the open ocean relying on a network to operate safely and efficiently cannot do so if it cannot communicate with other ships and shore. Systems that are globally approved, integrable, and ‘talk’ to other systems are necessary to enable a vessel and its crew to communicate with its surroundings as easily as a land-based office team would.

3. Invest in collaborative software

Collaborative software is fundamental to facilitating operations today that enable vessels to function as floating offices. Collaborative software is essential for real-time communication and coordination between ships and shore-based teams, as well as among various stakeholders involved in shipping.

4. Choose systems that are cyber-secure by design

As ships transform into floating offices, the deck department, the engineering department, other departments, and the crew onboard require consistent and reliable internet access more than ever. It is important to acknowledge that as the number of departments relying on the network increases, the greater the opportunity for cybercriminals to infiltrate. Managing cyber risk involves managing people and raising awareness of the cyber risks that are likely to grow. The opportunities for hackers can be limited by opting for systems and services that are cyber-secure by design.

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Source: Inmarsat