Five Digital Twin Strategies For Industrial Facilities

Published 22 August 2019 by Malavika Tohani & David Metcalfe &

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Executive Summary

A Verdantix survey of 284 managers responsible for operational excellence found that digital twin solutions are viewed as the most significant innovation for the next two years. Thirty-five per cent of the respondents ‘strongly agree’ that digital twins will transform operational excellence over the next five years. To turn these aspirations into reality, firms need to follow one of five digital twin strategies. Descriptive and informative digital twin strategies are a good fit for operations leaders seeking to leverage existing IT systems without incurring significant additional costs or project risk. The predictive digital twin strategy is suitable for  organizations with a robust asset management strategy and investments in APM software. Comprehensive and transformative digital twin strategies are most appropriate for new-build facilities where IoT technologies can be embedded into assets and processes assume digital twin capabilities. No matter which of the digital twin strategies a firm pursues, the project team needs to focus on ROI not just the exciting new technology. 

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Table of contents

Customers Envision A Bright Future For Digital Twins
Asset Management Realities Determine Which Of Five Digital Twin Strategies Will Work
Customers Should Focus On ROI To Make Savvy Investments In Digital Twin Projects

Table of figures

Figure 1. Digital Twins Top The Priority List Of Innovations For 2020 And 2021
Figure 2. Digital Twins Have Transformative Potential Over The Next Five Years

Organisations mentioned

Fluor, Jacobs, South Australian Water Corporation

About the authors

Malavika Tohani

Research Director

Malavika leads the Verdantix Operational Excellence practice. Her current research agenda focuses on the digitization of Operational Excellence and covers operational risk technologies, best practices and growth strategies. Her recent research focussed on benchmarking the capabilities of the prominent operational risk software vendors. She has over 10 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.

David Metcalfe


David co-founded Verdantix in 2008 and leads the firm’s research and advisory work on the digitization of Operational Excellence which covers software, systems integration, wearables and drones. Prior to founding Verdantix, David was a Senior Vice President at Forrester Research and Head of Analysis and Forecasting for BT. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University in Game Theory and Decision Analysis and worked as a Research Associate at the Harvard Business School.

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