What Is the Business Value of Digital Twin Technology?

Written By: David Immerman

Traditionally a company develops a product, ships it to its customers or through reseller channels and only receives feedback through unreliable customer service portals, surveys or other verbatim mechanisms. What’s lacking in this black-boxed environment are the products actual operational performance and insights.

Companies can drive real business value out of digital twins.

This prevailing business problem is beginning to be solved by the digital transformation of organizations with their physical systems in the outside world. Specifically, digital twins bridge this lesser-known aspect of the product lifecycle and add value across the organization through IoT, data analytics, cloud computing and AR. Real business outcomes from digital twins are within reach ranging from lowering prototyping costs at the design stage to streamlining field technicians in product servicing operations

What Use Cases Drive the Business Value for Digital Twins?

Through a variety of embedded sensors, connectivity mechanisms and data analytics, connected products with cloud-based remote monitoring applications are the primary IoT architecture for digital twins. Remote monitoring enables a virtual representation of a physical asset’s real-time health deployed in the real-world.

The business value of this application stems from the historically unavailable ’voice of the product’ and its now widespread availability for prudent business decisions across an organization. These stakeholders can take the form of:

What Markets Stand to Gain the Most Value from Digital Twins?

Any industry with assets, devices and other systems deployed outside of company walls stands to reap the benefits of digital twins. However, the costs of these deployed assets can sustainably range; assets that are on the higher-end of this scale will benefit the most from digital twin implementation. These high-end connected assets usually play mission-critical roles in their environments where they must consistently perform and cannot afford to malfunction.

Examples of value come from heavy-industrial markets:

Final Thoughts

Obtaining tangible business value and ROI is readily available with digital twin implementation through clearly identifying winning use cases and development assistance of trusted technology partners. Lowering costs throughout an organization stem from the design stage up through servicing operations while providing additional stakeholders pivotal performance data.

Enabling this transparency across the organizational value chain through digital and physical world convergence is becoming increasingly necessary as products shift to ‘as-a-service’ models. This digital transformation and final link of the digital thread is capable through the advent and adoption of the digital twin.

Related Articles:

  • Augmented Reality
  • Industrial Internet of Things

About the Author

David Immerman

David Immerman is a business analyst on PTC’s Corporate Marketing team providing thought leadership on technologies, trends, markets, and other topics. Previously David was an industry analyst in 451 Research’s Internet of Things channel primarily covering the smart transportation space and automotive technology markets, including fleet telematics, connected cars, and autonomous vehicles. He also spent time researching IoT-enabling technologies and other industry verticals including industrial. Prior to 451 Research, David conducted market research at IDC.