The Rise Of The Digital Twin

Richard Howells

A recent infographic published by IDC highlights the importance of digital transformation and the need for companies to enable a network of digital twins to stay competitive.

A revolution is underway. Companies are rebelling against old ways of doing business. They’re embracing cutting-edge technologies to innovate and drive transformation. And digital twins are at the forefront.

By 2020, IDC forecasts that 60% of manufacturers will monitor product/asset performance and improve the quality of goods using digital twins. And 60% of global companies will leverage digital twins to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

As you can see, more and more businesses are embracing digital twins to drive business benefits and outcomes. But the question I hear all the time is, “where should I start”? And there is no single answer to the question! But here are a few of the possibilities.

Six challenges your company can solve with digital twins

Digital twins – virtual models of physical products or assets – can help companies in a wide range of industries solve their most complex challenges.

Manufacturers and other supply chain enterprises rely on digital twins to gain in-the-moment product visibility, collect greater asset intelligence, and facilitate collaboration.

And digital twins don’t only cater to the needs of supply chain businesses. Infrastructure organizations, for instance, employ digital twins to reduce power consumption and manage entire smart cities more efficiently.

Specifically, digital twins can help companies:

  1. Minimize product, asset, and supply chain complexity to maximize quality and performance
  1. Gain a holistic perspective to better manage risk and safety
  1. Broaden external networks to enhance partner collaboration
  1. Create new business models, offer differentiated services, and maintain consistency to compete both globally and locally
  1. Collect real-time data to accelerate and improve decision making
  1. Develop individualized products to deliver superior customer experiences

No matter your company’s focus, digital twins offer the opportunity to radically transform your business.

Two key digital twin enablers

So, you understand the immense value of digital twins. But how exactly do they work?

The two key enablers of digital twins are the Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics.

Attaching IoT sensors to your products and assets gives your company access to massive amounts of data. And the data you collect serves as the foundation of your digital twins.

Analytics help your business make sense of data. They empower you to turn information into actionable insight.

IDC estimates there will be 30 billion connected things by 2020. If your enterprise’s goods are included in that number, you’re strategically positioned to capitalize on the countless benefits of digital twins, including:

  • Conducting predictive maintenance
  • Analyzing product and asset design improvements
  • Improving service-level agreement compliance
  • Responding to customer demands faster
  • Offering new as-a-service business models

So, before your business sets off on its digital twin adventure, make sure you have the IoT and analytics capabilities necessary to leverage digital twins to the fullest.

Ready to join the digital twin revolution?

The objective of any revolution is to institute change for the better.

As the world continues to evolve at an accelerated pace, your company’s current technologies simply won’t cut it. It’s time to add digital twins to your arsenal and usher in the revolutionary change your business needs to stay successful.

Register to read Network of Digital Twins – a brand-new IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by SAP – to begin revolutionizing your business today.


About Richard Howells

Richard Howells is a Vice President at SAP responsible for the positioning, messaging, AR , PR and go-to market activities for the SAP Supply Chain solutions.