There’s been a lot of hype over digital twins lately. It’s no wonder, given the increase in businesses embracing digital transformation. Gartner predicts that by 2021, half of large industrial companies will be using digital twins (a technology refresher and additional insights available here). For organizations aiming to reap the full benefits of a successful IoT implementation, recognizing the value digital twins can provide in an industrial environment is essential. However, while much of the fanfare focuses on the advantages of digital twins for complex capital assets, the benefits don’t end there. Digital twins have extensive benefit potential for IoT deployments of all types, no matter how sophisticated or straightforward the assets are that make up an industrial environment. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how these virtual machines can enhance IoT solutions for any company.

When disaster strikes a factory production line, and operations must stop immediately so technicians can try to identify the problem and fix it ASAP, wouldn’t it be great to spot potential failures before they occur? Digital twins offer predictive capabilities that help technicians analyze an asset’s operating condition, as well as relevant environmental factors, to better identify changes in status that can signal a problem on the horizon. Furthermore, these digital replicas also give technicians that level of predictive insights remotely, making it easier to manage large and widely dispersed equipment populations. Such enhanced visibility and monitoring capabilities are immensely valuable for any asset-heavy enterprise, no matter how complicated or simple its mission-critical equipment. Additional benefits, such as providing powerful equipment controlling methods and the ability to take preemptive measures to avoid unwanted outcomes, further accelerate the ROI of an IoT deployment. For more on how digital twins help industrial organizations maximize return on IoT investments, check out our piece contributed to Network World.