Turning data into action with intelligent digital twins

Our 2021 Technology Vision calls for companies to be masters of change. Being a true leader in our new future, where change is constant, means being ready to take action and pivot at any time: to embrace change not as something that happens to us, but as something to actively pursue.

Being ready to lead as a master of change means companies first need to know where they are and what’s happening within their operations at any given moment. That’s where they must lean on the power of intelligent digital twins.

Companies have experimented with digital twins for some time now, usually creating “digital doubles” of small pieces of their organization or processes. But that’s not enough to become a master of change. Leaders are beginning to connect massive networks of intelligent twins: linking many twins together, powered by in-depth and real-time data, to create living models of factories, product lifecycles, supply chains, ports, or whole cities.

This “mirrored world” gives companies an unbroken thread of data about their current state of being. It requires a comprehensive re-thinking of data practices, and a strategy for keeping data sources updated as processes throughout the company change. But combined with the power of AI, the mirrored world offers complex system modeling and simulation – the ability to ask “what if” questions and pivot as needs change. What if this vendor can’t provide the parts needed to keep production going? What if I need to take a factory offline for a day?

But far more than just making sure companies are ready to respond to change, this approach puts them in a position to drive it. Look at sustainability, where companies are making larger and larger commitments. Intelligent twins provide the “what if” capabilities to enable real change. Want to update an existing product with an eye toward sustainability, using parts from renewable resources? With the right data, intelligent twins can tell you whether you can do it with existing vendors, or how your processes might need to change to make it a reality.

Historically, “What if” has been a defensive question for business. What if there’s a problem, what if there’s a delay, what if there’s a shortage? And of course, being ready with answers to those questions is valuable, and always will be. But now, “what if” can become a much more powerful question: what if we wanted to do something more?

It’s a moment for innovation, for companies ready to become masters of change.

Learn more about Accenture Technology Vision 2021

Marc Carrel-Billiard

Senior Managing Director – Technology Innovation

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