Stop overvaluing data worth, ports told

When it comes to creating smart ports, authorities need to be realistic on the true value of their data — or risk losing out altogether.

A panel discussion at Singapore Lloyd’s List Forum can to the conclusion that ports are often in the dark on data ownership and mistake the worth of the data they do hold.

Rajesh Unni, founder and chief executive of Synergy Group, said that the biggest challenge that his group faces is that most people who ‘own’ the data don’t really own that data, “and they think that maybe if I give you the data I’m cannibalising my own data.

“That’s not the case,” he said. “It’s more about the mindset to analogue some value that’s hidden under the data. We are in a never-ending conversation on sharing data.”

Cris DeWitt, senior technical advisor of marine/offshore cyber security at Cyber Mariner, added that now that big data is “sexy and cool” people want to hang on to it.

Mr DeWitt also questioned whether smart is a reality? “It’s going to take time,” he said. “This is a very complex ecosystem.” He asked ports to think about what is actually being communicated between all the systems and warned of the danger of creating really complex systems. “I think software providers have to work to create systems that talk to each other,” he said.

Mr Unni suggested that if a port could just get two different systems to talk to each other and then get one to add value to the other, a port would be on the road to becoming smart.

“If we can demonstrate the value it will happen — it’s about value-creation,” he said. When he is asked what the financial incentive is to share my data, his response is “let’s create value first”.

“We need people to sit in a room and not be selfish and see how we can create value. Technology should be looked at as how you can unlock potential.”

And while there are ports investing in transformation, he called for more companies with collaborative mindsets to join the fray to really drive the revolution.

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