News Article 21/10/2011 B

"Information Overload?"

Ship Management International, July-August 2011, p.50

Industry stakeholders also described the problem of mistakenly associating mainstream software issues with the maritime sector. Dimitris Lyras, Managing Director of maritime software vendor Ulysses Systems, explained: “There has been a general confusion and will continue to be, over changes within the software industry outside of the maritime sector (cloud computing for example), but much of this is not relevant. The maritime industry has a few special problems which require communication systems from ship to shore. The way we use software solutions is not the same as we are a service industry focused on identifying risks and decision making so altogether, we-are different from the mainstream — we have our own issues which are not always easy to overcome."

Highlighting the fact that many IT companies have failed to address the problem of effective and continuous communications between ship and shore, Mr. Lyras said an antiquated approach to communications, which has barely altered over the past decade, is common within industry. He also noted the importance of getting software choices right from the early stages: "It's a matter of selection of software — there is confusion for the mariner if the software is not user-friendly but its at the point of selection that managers should ask more questions and understand, there are conflicts of interest in the selection process — decisions can get in the way of truth. I've yet to meet a company which hasn't made an error in the selection of software at some point."