Art of Simulation

Our CTO debunks 5 myths about Digital Twins

Frances Sneddon  /   Jan 12, 2023

Digital twins, if a business hasn’t already implemented one, they are at least talking about it! However, as with any new buzzword, there are many and varied definitions and opinions as to how these technologies should best be implemented. 

That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to debunk five of the most common misconceptions about digital twins to help you get the most out of them and understand how they can enhance your current approach to building a simulation.

Let’s get started!

Myth 1 – Digital twins are an enterprise deployment only, meaning huge implementation

This is a widely misunderstood perception of this technology that can put a lot of smaller organizations  or individual departments off exploring the benefits of digital twins. The truth is that they can be built, using simulation, in days, not months, meaning that this technology can be made accessible regardless of a company’s size.

Myth 2 – A real time data source is enough to keep a digital twin up to date

What is more important than real time data, is the understanding of the process that needs to stay up to date. As you continue on your simulation journey, it’s pivotal that you revisit how things may have changed so that you can make adjustments to ensure you are getting the best possible outcomes for your unique challenges.

Myth 3 – Digital twins need a real time data stream to be valuable

In reality, a digital twin only has to be fed with data at the pace and interval that decisions are made. This could be in real time, it could be once a week, or it could be as often as you need. It’s important to understand what your objective is and then make an informed decision on how regularly your digital twin needs to be updated.

Myth 4 – Digital twins need to reflect an entire company

While it is possible to have a digital twin reflect an entire organization, this is not the best place to start. Organizations should start small with simulations for individual processes and build up from there. This way they can build simulations far more quickly and start seeing results immediately. The linked processes can then be connected together at a later date if this is desirable.

Myth 5 – Digital twins are only real time replicas

Where would the value be in that?! A real digital twin can not only look at what is happening now, but also at what has occurred in the past and, most importantly, it can help inform you as to what to do next. This will enable businesses to make better decisions, using the results of past projects.

To conclude, the idea of creating a digital twin can sometimes be overwhelming, as many assume that they are a huge undertaking, both in terms of cost and time. But they don’t have to be. While having a twin run alongside a live system does offer the opportunity for continuous, real time assessment, it is perhaps more useful to think of this as an opportunity to offer assessment on demand, as that is a more typical use.

When used in conjunction with simulation, digital twins can truly transform decision making and add value, without the data having to be 100% perfect. As organizations become more adept at creating focused specific digital twins, they will quickly begin to see the value of de-risking decision making by modeling scenarios in a virtual world before committing real world resources. 

Find out more about Digital Twins with Simul8

Build rapid, cost-effective digital twins with Simul8. A practical, cost-effective approach for day-to-day digital twin decision-making in your organization.

About the author

Frances Sneddon

Frances Sneddon

As Chief Technology Officer for SIMUL8, I am responsible for the strategy and direction of our products, it's also my passion. I love software and every part of what goes into creating an amazing end user experience from the initial connection with our website, to how you interact with the software itself.