(http://www.MaritimeCyprus.com) Ship managers are increasingly looking after vessels featuring sophisticated ICT and automated systems, which officers and crew rely on to complete their work. Gone are the days when a Master can expect a dedicated Radio Officer to send communications, or tell a Junior Officer to draft and send emails.
Crew onboard modern ships work in an environment that is similar to shore-based offices. Computers, laptops, scanners and printers are now the everyday working tools on a modern and well operated ship, and their usefulness continues to grow in an era of increased administration at sea to comply with greater regulation and stricter compliance requirements.
Inmarsat has published a new guide to effective management of vessel IT networks called Best Practice Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Recommendations, which is available for free to industry stakeholders.
The publication, created as part of the Inmarsat Research Programme, offers guidance on maximising uptime and minimising cyber vulnerabilities in onboard networks and automated systems, covering the design, deployment and ongoing operational management of shipboard ICT.
The report was authored by Richard Lim, Senior Sector Development Manager for Inmarsat Solutions, who previously worked in the IT department at AET Tankers for more than two decades, most recently as Fleet IT Manager, prior to joining the satellite operator.
The guide provides suggestions on how to design a software environment that prioritises uptime but is also easy to maintain long-term, with regard to management and planning for upgrades, and offers a framework for developing IT policy as well as advice on best practice record-keeping for audits such as the OCIMF Tanker Management Self-Assessment (TMSA) scheme.
Other topics include satellite connection options, internet of things (IoT) applications and crew access, as well as an exploration of the benefits of virtual servers/workstations for scalability and speedy recovery after failure.
Click on below image to download the guide: