Published in trends, all, digitalisation, digital transformation | 7 minutes reading time

How Dualog helps your shipping company achieve key business objectives

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Why are more and more shipping companies implementing new technologies and digital ways of conducting shipping operations?

Simply because digitisation and digitalisation have become not just a good-to-have philosophy but the blueprint of success – and even of survival.

However, when we talk about how investing in a digital future benefits global shipping – both maritime and land-based – it is very easy to dwell on cost savings. Deploying a digital strategy cannot be seen only as a cost reduction initiative, though. 

Sure, digitalisation and strategic use of ICT will reduce cost, but more importantly, it will increase business opportunities – by solving the most pressing challenges you as a shipowner, manager or operator face in day-to-day operations. 

Let’s take a look at what improvements and added value a wide-ranging suite of vessel connectivity and security services would provide your company. 

Three critical business objectives that the Dualog solution helps you achieve

1. Guaranteed and secure flow of data between ship and shore

Even though there are significant maritime connectivity improvements on the horizon, available bandwidth cannot be expected to increase at a rate matching the current growth in demand for ship-to-shore data traffic. Typically, three factors are causing file transfer and data synchronisation across fleet and fleet groups to be unreliable and risky:

  • Transferring large files through email is not a viable option due to file-size constraints. Sending USB sticks by courier is a slow, cumbersome and costly alternative, especially in larger fleets. Distributing large data volumes or complex folder structures to the vessels can be equally as challenging. 

  • Existing land-based cloud solutions for data transfer are not built for the needs of maritime operations. Firstly, they lack satellite-optimised features to reduce data volume. Secondly, cloud-based synchronisation solutions often consume unnecessary bandwidth and make it hard to verify the status of files across a fleet of ships.

  • Workarounds like for instance FTP-based solutions pose an unacceptable risk to loss of data security.

 

How choosing the Dualog solution will help you solve these challenges and achieve your goal:

Dualog’s comprehensive file and folder replication service is designed specifically for the needs of the shipping industry. This means that collection and distribution of data between your vessels’ IT and OT systems and shore operations are secured, simplified and streamlined. 

With the Dualog solution in place, you will have a standardised way to distribute data to ships, groups of ships, or whole fleets, on challenging bandwidth conditions.

Unlike land-based file-sharing solutions like for instance Dropbox, the Dualog solution enables vessels, fleet groups and roles (ship manager, Master, etc.) to be visible.

Furthermore, costly interruptions in ship operations due to erroneous or even unpredictable data delivery will be avoided. Large files or complex folder structures can be replicated with minimal IT staff workload.

 

2. Keep your vessels and onboard networks and systems protected against potential cyberattacks

In the current cyber threat reality, three critical factors are causing your vessel IT to be vulnerable to cyberattacks and cybersecurity incidents. 

  • Email is still the number one threat vector, with more than 90% of attacks starting with an email. Ransomware and phishing are the two most commonly used hacking techniques. Training is vital, but having a robust antivirus solution is essential, along with a solution that stops ship personnel from inadvertently clicking on fraudulent links.

  • The rise of IoT devices and Internet-connected IT and OT systems onboard vessels means a broader attack surface for hackers. Continuous monitoring is essential to detect suspicious traffic before any harm is done.

  • The sheer volume of digital transactions involved in operating a modern ship puts a lot of pressure on the IT department to protect, monitor, detect and mitigate cybersecurity threats. Having a heavy-duty cybersecurity toolbox on hand becomes crucial.

 

How choosing the Dualog solution will help you solve these challenges and achieve your goal:

Implementing the Dualog solution will protect your ships and critical onboard networks and systems even before an attack occurs by putting an additional layer of protection between onboard personnel and the internet, ensuring continuity of operations. 

Dualog offers a robust email system that includes multiple layers of defences, safeguarding your business and crew accounts from common threats like spam, malware and viruses, effectively reducing the amount of malicious email traffic to reach your ships.

Furthermore, making your onboard digital security more robust will help move you toward IMO 2021 compliance and cybersecurity certifications.

Read more: How Dualog® Business Mail helps you comply with IMO 2021

3. Realise the full potential of integrated ships

Three key barriers are currently holding shipping companies back from implementing a digital strategy that includes their ships:

  • A substantial part of the industry still clings to a cost-savings mindset and is reluctant to make long-term commercial commitments. Moving to the ‘digital ship’ is perceived as expensive and inherently risky. A short-sighted focus on cost savings can inhibit innovation and prevent you from building the competitive strategy you need to be profitable in the long run. 

  • Data communications over satellites are inherently slower than land-based alternatives, and much more costly. Available bandwidth is not expected to increase quickly enough to match the current demand for ship-shore data traffic. 

  • Integrating ships in a digital strategy requires data to be collected from equipment and software onboard and brought safely ashore in a standardised format. Currently, there are no clear, established digital standards facilitating this.

 

How choosing the Dualog solution will help you solve these challenges and achieve your goal:

Implementing Dualog’s maritime-optimised services will help you maximise the business value of integrating your ships – with low up-front costs and minimal risk. The Dualog solution combines comprehensive functionality and configurability, and it’s user-friendly and easy to navigate. 

Dualog’s services will help you achieve better operational performance, by enabling you to efficiently manage data volume, prioritise data traffic and maximise data throughput.

Conclusion

A clear digital strategy is required during the transition to a greener, safer maritime industry. Along the way, your shipping company will face pressing challenges that need to be tackled.

Choosing the Dualog solution is a strategic decision to add real business value and help you achieve business objectives critical to surviving the digital race.

 

Building a business case for choosing Dualog

How Dualog helps your shipping company achieve key business objectives
Written by Silje Moan, Chief Operating Officer

Ms Moan holds a Bachelor Degree in International Marketing and Management from BI. After a short stint in the marketing industry, she came aboard Dualog in early 2000. From the very beginning, she has worked closely with the customers, focusing on enhancing the customer experience through all touchpoints. Currently, Ms Moan is the Chief Operating Officer of Dualog where she oversees and implements the organisation’s strategy and mission statement within the organisation. Her responsibility spans maintaining and monitoring the operating environment to ensure that staffing levels, expectations and motivations are in place to fulfil organisational requirements, as well as ensure that sales, marketing, and support succeed.

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