Inside Logistics

Digital twins hold their own

Spending will increase by 17 percent in 2020


June 3, 2020
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HAMPSHIRE, U.K. – Total global spend on digital twins will reach US$12.7 billion by 2021; an increase of 17 percent from $10.8 billion in 2019.

Digital twins are a digital representation of physical assets that utilize IoT data; enabling use cases such as predictive maintenance when combined with AI.

These findings are part of a new study from Juniper Research, which is anticipating that despite the negative impact of COVID-19, there will be only a one percent drop in overall digital twins spend in 2020.

Investment in digital twins is driven by efficiency gains, which are increasingly essential in uncertain times. The research identified that under these circumstances, return on investment is still achievable, primarily due to the extensive links digital twins have to the wider IoT ecosystem.

Digital twins critical to wider industrial IoT strategies

The new research, “Digital Twins in IoT: Vendor Strategies, Future Outlook & Market Forecasts 2020-2024”, identified that digital twins are not generally standalone products, and must be implemented as part of a wider industrial IoT strategy.

While IoT sensors generate enormous amounts of data in the industrial setting, interpreting this data and putting it into operation requires a collaborative approach based on open platforms.

Research co-author Nick Maynard explained: “Digital twins are only as valuable as the quality of data that enters the platform. As such, the most successful vendors in the market will be those that use partnerships to pair existing platform ecosystems with innovative digital twins solutions.”

Manufacturing dominating digital twins spend

The research identifies that manufacturing will be the single biggest sector for digital twins deployment; accounting for 34 percent of total spend in 2021, followed by energy and utilities at 18 percent. It forecasts that North America will dominate spend; accounting for 67 percent of manufacturing spend in 2021.