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Digital Twin Apps in Industrial Markets Gain Momentum

The concept of a Digital Twin is important within the industrial sector, as stakeholders throughout the supply chain ecosystem seek to harness technology to increase efficiency. Digital Twins are also essential elements of the evolving Internet of Things (IoT) platforms market.

Examples of these virtual connected objects include connected cars, airplane turbines, smart cities, and commercial buildings. The objects are usually first created and modeled via computer-aided-design (CAD) software, which is used by engineers in the early stages of product development.

Digital Twin Market Development

IT innovations, such as Big Data analysis, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), software analytics and cloud solutions -- as well as the growing demand for sensors to capture and process data -- have been significant drivers for the adoption of Digital Twin use cases.

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, the forecast total global spending on Digital Twins will reach $12.7 billion by 2021 -- that's an increase of 17 percent from $10.8 billion in 2019.

So, what exactly are those industrial applications? Digital Twins are a digital representation of physical assets that utilize IoT data; enabling use cases such as predictive maintenance when combined with AI.


Furthermore, despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on overall IT investments, Juniper is anticipating a mere 1 percent drop in Digital Twins solutions spending during 2020.

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

The new research also 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.

"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," said Nick Maynard, lead analyst at Juniper Research.

Outlook for Digital Twin Applications Growth

According to the Juniper analyst assessment, manufacturing will be the single biggest sector for Digital Twins deployment -- accounting for 34 percent of total spending in 2021, followed by energy and utilities at 18 percent.

Juniper forecasts that the North American market will dominate spending -- accounting for 67 percent of manufacturing IT investment in 2021. The study findings show that the U.S. market has had successful partnerships in the IoT ecosystem driving adoption, which is an approach that can be replicated in other markets.

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