Resilience Through Abstraction: Digital Twins and Adaptive Ecosystems – Part II

Posted by Marcus G. on July 20, 2020

Originally posted on TechUK.

Knowing where bottlenecks and dependencies lie is an important first step, but how best to move forward?

Avoid wasteful repetition

As mentioned above Digital Twins are more than a visualisation of an enterprise’s system or network, they are a means of securely interoperating at scale across an entire digital ecosystem. Virtualising sources of data with semantically defined digital twins abstracts the relationship between the sources from the databases/systems/platforms themselves. This enables an enterprise to configure their processes, workflows, and actions based on the relationships and interactions between twins not the integration of specified devices, databases or supplier records. In essence building resilience through future-flexible systems. Suppliers, sources, and consumers, can be removed, replaced or upgraded rapidly with only the integration between source and Twin being changed. The rest of the system remains unaffected. Creating an amorphic adaptive digital ecosystem which is source and consumer agnostic. Business critical thinking and systems remain fixed and optimised and it is only at the edge that adaptation is required. In crisis moments this approach enables continuous delivery with light weight failover functionality.

But there is little point in succeeding if the rest of the supply and demand chain fails!

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Collaborative solution development

John Donne in the 17th Century wrote “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;” and the COVID crisis has merely demonstrated how true that remains. Recovery and resilience during global market volatility requires us to look beyond our internal landscapes and work collaboratively and co-operatively with partners, suppliers and customers. Digital Twins as virtualisations of internal systems, process, and data sources provide a methodology for the selective sharing of information across corporate boundaries in real-time.

The solutions and services that survive, and thrive, in the next few years will be those that are built at least partially by customers and users, not for them. Digital Twin-enabled digital ecosystems enable the secure sharing of data from suppliers and subcontractors, contextualized with workflow and process information, and shared direct into customers analysis and reporting tools in real-time –  providing invaluable decision support capabilities and the ability for entire supply and demand chains to co-create the solutions needed to recover and prosper in these unprecedented times.

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Click here to read Part I of this series.