Best Practices: Implementing Industrial Digital Twins

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Executive Summary

The last two years have seen a large number of organizations announcing digital twin projects for their industrial facilities. The need for digital, remote and resilient operations has been further emphasized by the COVID-19 crisis. In this report, we provide corporate executives and digital twin software buyers at industrial organizations with an overview of the best practices for implementing industrial digital twins. To capture best practice insights, Verdantix conducted in-depth interviews with digital twin experts at technology suppliers, service providers and industrial organizations, as well as surveying 259 senior executives in operations, maintenance, engineering and process safety roles. To achieve success with digital twin projects, our research finds that organizations should develop a blended success programme spanning five core aspects: (1) people, (2) data, (3) hardware, (4) connectivity and (5) security.

Table of contents

Success In Digital Twin Projects Relies On Clearly Defining Achievable Objectives 
Shiny Ball Syndrome Can Derail Digital Twin Projects
Digital Twin Expectations Should Tango With Current Digital Maturity

Five Dimensions To Consider When Implementing Digital Twins 
Success Starts With People And Culture 
Implementations Will Fail Without A Robust Data Strategy 
Hard Questions On Hardware, Connectivity And Security Must Be Answered

Table of figures

Figure 1. Factors Holding Back Investment In Digital Twin Projects  
Figure 2. Functionalities Required For Each Digital Twin Sophistication Level  
Figure 3. Digital Twin Use Cases Along The Project Life Cycle  
Figure 4. Framework For Developing and Implementing A Digital Twin  
Figure 5. Solution Recommendations To Five Core Challenges During Implementation Of Digital Twin Projects  

About the authors

Victor Voulgaropoulos

Senior Analyst

Victor is a Senior Analyst in the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. His research agenda focuses on asset management solutions and their overlap with industrial risk management technologies and digital twins. His advisory portfolio includes go-to-market, growth strategy, commercial due diligence and digital strategy projects for corporates, vendors and investors. Prior to joining Verdantix, Victor was a research associate at Imperial College London and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, providing engineering advisory services for clients in the energy industry (oil & gas, nuclear and solar). Victor holds a PhD in Process Engineering from University College London.

Malavika Tohani

Research Director

Malavika leads the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. Her current research agenda focuses on digital technologies for Operational Excellence including digital twins and software solutions for industrial risk and asset management. Malavika has over 15 years’ experience in research and strategy consulting. Malavika previously worked at Frost & Sullivan, managing and delivering advisory projects for clients involving expansion, acquisition, benchmarking and product development strategies. Malavika holds a MSc in Economics from Madras School of Economics.

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