With digital twin adoption, more organizations find strength in numbers

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As more organizations undertake projects around the Internet of Things, a growing number are setting their sights on the technology known as digital twins.

According to new research from Gartner Inc., 13 percent of organizations implementing Internet of Things (IoT) projects already use digital twins, while another 62 percent are either in the process of establishing digital twin use or plan to do so.

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, Gartner explains.

Gartner 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.”

“We see digital twin adoption in all kinds of organizations,” says Benoit Lheureux, research vice president at Gartner. “However, manufacturers of IoT-connected products are the most progressive, as the opportunity to differentiate their product and establish new service and revenue streams is a clear business driver.”

“We predicted that by 2022, over two-thirds of companies that have implemented IoT will have deployed at least one digital twin in production. We might actually reach that number within a year,” Lheureux says.

A key factor for enterprises implementing IoT is that their digital twins serve different constituencies inside and outside the enterprise, according to Gartner. For example, 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.

When asked for examples of digital twin constituencies, replies varied widely, ranging from internal IoT data consumers, such as employees or security over commercial partners to technology providers.

“These findings show that digital twins serve a wide range of business objectives,” Lheureux explains. “Designers of digital twins should keep in mind that they will probably need to accommodate multiple data consumers and provide appropriate data access points.”

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