An introduction to digital twins, an approach to managing assets that is gaining increasing traction across many business sectors, and that will ultimately disrupt many industry business models.
Digital twins and the Coordination Age
Digital twins are an enabler of the Coordination Age, in which a global need to improve the efficiency of resource use, combined with supply-side technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and AI, is driving a revolutionary change in the way that economies work.
In this change, the fundamental mechanism needed is coordination – the organisation of multiple parties and assets to deliver a desired end-goal. Examples of this need can be found in all sectors of the economy and all areas of life, such as healthcare, manufacturing, the smart home, smart transport, etc.
To make this happen in practice a number of practical challenges need to be addressed:
- Physical and digital assets need to be able to work together more easily
- Authorised users need better real-time remote insight on and control of distributed assets
- Certain things and processes need to be able to act with greater autonomy (albeit within clear rules)
- More realistic and reliable models/simulations are needed to test and evaluate different solutions and scenarios
Digital twins are a means towards all these ends, providing a mechanism whereby processes and things can become interoperable and intelligent on demand to authorised users.