Digital transformation in the maritime industry: Smart, data driven and secure operations

by 5, Apr, 2021Innovation, Maritime 4.00 comments

Digital transformation is the transformation of products, processes and business to fully leverage the opportunities of digitalization. It is known that the transition towards digitalization and automation in the maritime industry is currently speeding up.

Considering the situation, DNV hosted a webinar focused on major aspects on the digital transformation within the industry.

To begin with, Bjørn Johan Vartdal Head of Maritime Incubator, Jarle Blomhoff Group leader, Cyber, security and safety, Øystein Goksøyr Head of Department, Safety Advisory and Simon Adams Sr. Communications Manager, Corp Communications, were all attended the webinar and clarified the difference between digitalization and digitization.


As explained, digitalization refers to the use of digitized data and digital technologies to increase efficiency of existing processes or to enable or automate new processes. While digitization is the process of converting information from a physical format to digital one. In fact, it means converting something non-digital into a digital representation to be used by computer systems and automate processes or workflows.

Why to go digital?

  • Improve efficiency and quality of manual decision making and processes
  • Automate manual decision making and processes
Credit: DNV

According to the experts, the key enablers of digitalization, include more data, software, automation, system integration and connectivity. However, in order to realize the benefits of digitalization, shipowners and operators need to deploy digital tools which allow for processing and distribution of data.

Specifically, a data collection infrastructure should facilitate a safe and reliable vessel-to shore data exchange.

Make a digital transformation road map to realize your benefits from digitalization and implement data-smart ship management to optimize performance.

Following the rapid digital transformation along with the presence of new threats and regulatory requirements, webinar’s participants highlighted the matter of cyber security.

New technology, more automation and digitalization are enabling our industry to be more efficient. At the same time, cyber security needs to be in place in order to handle the safety considerations and risks this new technology brings with it, as well as to ensure that we keep vessel operation and crew & passengers safe.

Among others, experts focused on the following steps towards data-smart shipping:

Set a smart strategy

  • First of all, establish strategic goals
  • Identify digital technologies and solutions that will drive target realization
  • Create transformation roadmap for selected digitalization initiatives

Smart fleet transformation

  • Identify technical vessel solutions according to the digital transformation roadmap
  • Specify required data, data-collection infrastructure and cyber security level
  • Perform GAP analysis and develop smart fleet transformation plan

Smart ship management implementation

  • Create future vision and digital transformation roadmap
  • Design use cases and build strong digital platform
  • Built, pilot and implement use cases in the ship management organization

Smart operations

  • Monitor, visualize and report performance
  • Optimize performance and manage risks
  • Establish digital service providers

Overall, experts agreed that industry’s collaboration is the key element towards digital transformation and for the mutual benefit of all parties.


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