If ship managers used to compete on the cost of running vessels as well as they could, the new mantra is partnering clients and getting value from data to improve operational monitoring and performance.

But one big question is how best to digitalise — whether to develop in-house systems or buy off the shelf from the multitude of vessel system offerings.

A prophet of the value message is Synergy Marine Group chief executive Rajesh Unni, whose Singapore-based group also set up its own in-house digital development firm — Alpha Ori Technologies.