The What, Why, When and How of the Digital Twin

One of the hottest technology trends of 2019 will be the Digital Twin. But what is it, who is it for and how do you do it? Read on to learn the basics

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The What

The term Digital Twin has previously been used to describe digital 3D representations of large complex machinery such as wind turbines and aircraft engines. The Digital Twin has been used to monitor the status of the machinery for diagnostic - and prognostic purposes, as it receives real time data about the actual machine’s status.

A Digital Twin of an Organization is a corresponding digital representation of the organization and its parts and it can even include digital representations of your organization’s assets.

Gartner has proclaimed that a Digital Twin of an Organization is the future of performance optimization and what will bring “ContinousNext” to life (Huntley, 2018). It is also included in their top ten strategic technology trends for 2018.

A Digital Twin of the Organization must consist of at least:

  • The organization’s operating model,
  • Data about the organization’s constituents,
  • One-to-one alignment between the Digital Twin and the organization and
  • The ability to monitor the organization’s relevant constituents

(Kerremans, 2017)

The Why

Organizations will become more and more dependent on continuous intelligence in order to stay viable. The use of a Digital Twin for diagnostic - and prognostic purposes can be of great benefit to an organization, just as it has been for complex machinery, when navigating complex and uncertain business environments. According to Gartner, a Digital Twin of your organization will bring:

  • A new level of insight
  • A new level of understanding
  • An awareness that will enable you to make better business decisions

The Digital Twin loops from the physical to the virtual and back again, enabling a new way to create and implement strategic initiatives. It can help you discover customer behavior patterns you can act upon, model organizational responses to privacy breaches and develop various future state scenarios (Huntley, 2018).

The When

Having a Digital Twin is relevant, and will become a key strategic tool, for any organization that is affected by change. The Digital Twin will help an organization to monitor, adapt and improve the way services and value are delivered continuously.

But how mature do you need to be in order to create and utilize a Digital Twin? You need to have documented your organization’s operating model. You need to have data about the components that make up your organization, and you need to be able to monitor these (Kerremans, 2017).

That’s it. The bare minimum for creating a Digital Twin and reaping the benefits.

The How

You shouldn’t expect to be able to implement a comprehensive Digital Twin within months. It is advised that you start small and work incrementally (Huntley, 2018). This will enable you to integrate the Digital Twin, and the use of it into your organization’s way of operating.

According to Gartner, the most complete technology you can use to implement a Digital Twin of your Organization is a Business Operating System (Kerremans, 2017). With the right Business Operating System, you have a single system for handling your entire business operating model, a one-to-one documentation of the components that make up your organization and collecting measurements of these components. With a Business Operating System, you will be able to model, act upon your new data and implement the decided changes.

Gartner has created a market guide of technologies that support a digital twin of the organization, where you can read about the different vendors, including QualiWare, that can support you in your digital endeavors.

You can also reach out to QualiWare and request a demo on how to create your organization’s Digital Twin.

References

Huntley, H. (2018, October 15). Gartner Opening Keynote: From Digital Transformation to ContinousNext. Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. Orlando.

Kerremans, M. (2017, October 25). 12 Powerful use Cases for Creating a Digital Twin of Your Organization. Gartner(G00341407).