Digital Twins Are Entering Mainstream Use
13 percent of organizations implementing IoT projects already use digital twins, while 62 percent are either in the process of establishing digital twin use or plan to do so, according to a recent IoT implementation survey by Gartner. The company defines a digital twin as a software design pattern that represents a physical object with the objective of understanding the asset’s state, responding to changes, improving business operations and adding value.
While only 13 percent of respondents claim to already use digital twins, 62 percent are either in the process of establishing the technology or plan to do so in the next year. This rapid growth in adoption is due to extensive marketing and education by technology vendors, but also because digital twins are delivering business value and have become part of enterprise IoT and digital strategies.
A key factor for enterprises implementing IoT is that their digital twins serve different constituencies inside and outside the enterprise. 54 percent of respondents reported that while most of their digital twins serve only one constituency, sometimes their digital twins served multiple; nearly a third stated that either most or all their digital twins served multiple constituencies. For example, the constituencies of a connected car digital twin can include the manufacturer, a customer service provider and the insurance company, each with a need for different IoT data.
When an organization has multiple digital twins deployed, it might make sense to integrate them. For example, in a power plant with IoT-connected industrial valves, pumps and generators, there is a role for digital twins for each piece of equipment, as well as a composite digital twin, which aggregates IoT data across the equipment to analyze overall operations.
Despite this setup being very complex, 61 percent of companies that have implemented digital twins have already integrated at least one pair of digital twins with each other, and even more, 74 percent of organizations that have not yet integrated digital twins, will do so in the next five years. However, this result also means that 39 percent of respondents have not yet integrated any digital twins; of those, 26 percent still do not plan to do so in five years.