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European Tech

By Charles Bartlett, Contributing Editor

Who owns THE DATA? IP cyber security is vital consideration

O

ne of the major developments over the past year has been the emergence of a number of new (and competing) digital platforms for shipping. Last year, Inmarsat released its own, followed by Bureau Veritas (Veristar AIM3D) and DNV GL (Veracity) this year. GE has also elected to run marine apps via its GE Predix industrial internet platform. Consolidation might seem inevitable in such circumstances, with the “best” cloudbased platform—although nearly all of them are based on the same Microsoft Azure software— likely to win out and absorb others. But ABB’s VP of Digital Services Kenneth Nakken would disagree. His company’s new platform, Ability, is predicated

22 Marine Log // May 2017

on the assumption that there will be ‘intercloud’ connectivity. “I don’t believe in one big platform that will solve everything for a customer, and where every OEM needs to make their own apps. I don’t think that will work—I think that will increase the cost. Our own platform, Ability, will collect the data and we will do the analytics, and that will fit some of the purposes from the customer’s perspective.” There is a lot of discussion about “ecosystems. On board, we have our Octopus diagnostics software, calculating, [and] giving you advice. You can also send this data to the [ABB Ability] cloud. The next thing is how can you share this data [to other cloud platforms]—if the customer allows it—in a kind of inter-cloud solution.”

But Nakken highlights one of the possible and cynical motivations as to why some firms might be considering such platforms—and, one of the risks if such a consolidated cloud-monolith were to arise. “There are a lot of questions about who owns the data,” he explains. “Many customers are hesitant to join these services because they have their own intellectual property (IP)—fleet analytics, algorithms and performance teams. Their fear is that if they share this with an OEM, they will steal it, package it, and resell it to their other customers.” As well as competing owners, OEMs might also try to get their hands on a competitors’ analytics data. IP protection, therefore, is a vital consideration for

Marine Log May 2017  
Marine Log May 2017