IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Partner content
Story image

The mirrored world: Digital twins redefine business intelligence

By Sara Barker
Mon 29 Mar 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The world’s most visionary leaders will use technology to master change and shape the future, Accenture declared in its recent Technology Trends 2021: Leaders Wanted report.

The report outlines five trends:

  • Stack strategically: IT architecture becomes a crucial differentiator for businesses competing in their industries
  • Mirrored world: Digital twins, AI, and data generate new possibilities for business and intelligence
  • I, Technologist: Automation, natural language processing, low-code and other tools are democratising data and technology
  • Anywhere, everywhere: Businesses take advantage of the rise of remote and hybrid workplaces 
  • From Me to We: A new take on partnerships and multiparty systems in the post-COVID-19 landscape.

One of these trends, Mirrored World, addresses the growing influence and importance of digital twins in the enterprise.

Originally hailed for their ability to monitor, simulate, and streamline data from devices, digital twins have evolved to incorporate levels of artificial intelligence and innovation - the likes of which are now being used to link models of factories, supply chains, ports, and even entire cities.

Digital twins are part of what is described as the ‘mirrored world’, which is the culmination of digital twins, intelligence, and the unstoppable evolution of business.

The report, which polled more than 6200 business and technology leaders, found that organisations are using digital twins for many different reasons, such as strategy development (34%), operations improvements (34%), innovation (33%), business model development (27%), and testing new products before launch (27%).

While those are the most popular applications, digital twins are hardly limited. Respondents list other uses such as energy efficiency, monitoring, decision-making, cybersecurity, and predictive maintenance.

The report found that 46% of respondents have built their digital twins with at least 50% input from artificial intelligence or machine learning - and it’s for good reason.

Not only do digital twins help businesses gather, visualise, and contextualise data from different sources, they also enable businesses to act on data, and to understand ‘what-if’ scenarios.

“As enterprises connect more expansive networks of twins and build out the mirrored world, these capabilities will grow exponentially. Leaders will be able to make data and intelligence the primary orchestrators of the business, increasing real-time agility at scale, overhauling their innovation processes, and forming entirely new mirrored-world ecosystems and partnerships,” the report notes.

While few organisations (11%) have plans to ‘significantly increase’ their investments in digital twins in the future, 54% say they will at least put some increased investment in. For 29% of respondents, they will not change their investment levels, but 5% plan to decrease investment.

While respondents did not go into detail about their investment levels and how these may change, enterprises are highly aware of how digital twins fit into their own business strategy and that of their wider partner ecosystems.

The report found that 87% of respondents agree that digital twins are becoming essential to their organisation’s ability to collaborate in strategic ecosystem partnerships, while 12% remain neutral and 1% disagree.

Ecosystem partnerships, such as those between Microsoft and Unilever, are a prime example of how digital twins can change business.

The two companies are working together to create intelligent digital twins of Unilever’s factories, allowing Unilever to track factory conditions, test any potential operational changes, and to improve efficiency and flexibility.

Already, Unilever has shaved off billions of dollars in costs simply by cutting back energy usage. All of this was possible through the company’s pilot twin in Brazil.

The report declares, “Bringing data and intelligence together at this magnitude is what makes building intelligent twins and the mirrored world so critical."

"They will let enterprises ask and answer big-picture questions: How will it impact my operations if I have to shutter this warehouse? What will happen if this vendor’s supply chain fails? How can I update this product to be more sustainable — and is that achievable with my existing vendors?”

Digital twins could also be integral to the development of strategic ecosystem partnerships, according to 86% of respondents. Just 12% disagree.

In light of the pandemic, there has never been a greater need for visibility and insight as organisations try to answer the big-picture questions.

That, Accenture says, is where digital twins and the mirrored world will be the catalyst to help many businesses operate, collaborate, and innovate in the markets and ecosystems of the future.

When respondents evaluated the statement "Leading organisations will start to push the boundaries of the duality of the real world and virtual world, including the need for persistence and seamless navigation through both", 91% agree, 8% remain neutral, and just 1% disagree.

The report concludes, “The businesses that start today, building intelligent twins of their assets and piecing together their first mirrored environments, will be the ones that push industries, and the world, toward a more agile and intelligent future.”

To read the Technology Trends 2021: Leaders Wanted report, click here.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
AGVs
Bridgestone Australia uses Dematic's AGVs to optimise warehouse operations
Bridgestone Australia has deployed Dematic's Automated Guided Vehicle solution across its new Melbourne warehouse in Truganina.
Story image
Adobe
Marketplacer and Adobe accelerate partnership for enhanced commerce solutions
Marketplacer has accelerated its partnership with Adobe in order to further enhance the global commerce marketplace.
Story image
Capital
Rubber Monkey gears up for Aussie market with latest capital raise
Rubber Monkey is seeking to raise up to NZ$2.5 million of new capital through online investment platform, Snowball Effect.
Story image
ABI Research
NaaS market expected to reach $150B by 2030 - research
"The market is immature and fragmented, but telco market revenue will exceed US$75 billion by 2030 if they act now and transform to align with requirements."
Story image
Infrastructure
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Paessler
Sebastian Krüger joins us today to discuss how unified infrastructure monitoring enables MSPs to seamlessly deliver services to their clients.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Documentation
Adobe study finds lack of digital trust and utilisation in Australian Government agencies
New research commissioned by Adobe has revealed a significant lack of digital trust within Australian Government departments, along with the continued underutilisation of key digital processes.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Decision Inc. partners with provenio.ai to expand offering
Decision Inc. Australia has partnered with provenio.ai to expand its offering to clients in the retail, FMCG, manufacturing, supply chain and logistics sectors.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why it's time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Productivity
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
IDTechEx
The next stage for 5G in thermal materials - IDTechEx
IDTechEx says higher frequency deployments, such as mmWave devices and very different station types such as small cells, present their own technological evolution and, with it, thermal challenges. 
PwC
PwC's Consulting Business and PwC's Indigenous Consulting are proud to play an important role in helping Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience build IMAGI-NATION, a free online university for marginalised communities around the world.
Link image
Story image
Low-code
Appian unveils low-code certification program in Australia
Appian has announced a program to provide the next generation of low-code developers with access to education on the subject and certification to foster career opportunities.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Without trust, your security team is dead in the water
The rise of cyberattacks has increased the need for sound security that works across any type of business, but with any change, buy-in is essential. Airwallex explains why.
Story image
Metaverse
How the metaverse will change the future of the supply chain
The metaverse is set to significantly change the way we live and work, so what problems can it solve in supply chain management?
Story image
Recruitment
Thales on recruitment hunt for next disruptive innovations
"Recruiting new talent is part of Thales's belief in the power of innovation and technological progress to build a safer, greener and more inclusive world."
Story image
SOTI
Australian consumers loyal to retailers who deliver speed and visibility
SOTI finds extensive order visibility and speed are the most important factors for turning one-off customers into loyal, long-term buyers.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Salesforce announces new innovations for financial services
Salesforce has launched expanded financial services that offer more targeted and trusted automation to help teams unlock insights, deliver better customer service, and drive operational efficiencies.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
PwC
WSLHD and PwC’s Consulting Business came together to solve through the challenges of COVID-19. A model of care was developed to the NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation guidelines with new technology platforms and an entirely new workforce.
Link image
Story image
Apple
Your tools, your choice: why allow employees to choose their own devices?
Jamf Australia says giving your team the freedom to work with their digital device of choice could help to attract and retain top talent in a tight labour market.
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Dynatrace extends automatic release validation capabilities
Dynatrace has extended its platform release validation capabilities to improve user experience at every stage of the software development lifecycle.
Story image
Digital Fingerprint
Decline in counterfeit cherries after digital fingerprinting
Reid Fruits says there’s been a dramatic decline in counterfeit products for its cherries over the past three export seasons to Asia because of digital fingerprinting.
Story image
Storage
EXCLUSIVE: Finding the best data center for your business needs with datacenterHawk
Companies using cloud are consistently looking for the best storage solutions to suit their enterprise needs and often have to go through rather complex processes in order to find the right fit.
Story image
Airwallex
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Eight top DevSecOps trends to support IT innovation in 2022
The use of DevSecOps practices is growing, as it is increasingly seen as the best way to produce high-quality and secure code. So what are the current trends?
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Wiise
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
Cloud
BT builds on Equinix partnership with new cloud offering
BT has launched a next-generation cloud connectivity offering extending its global network into strategic carrier-neutral facilities (CNFs) and building on its existing partnership with Equinix.
Story image
Sustainability
Honeywell named Frankston facility services provider
Honeywell has been named the joint facility services provider for Frankston Hospital’s AU$1.1 billion redevelopment.
Story image
Ransomware
Businesses unprepared to defend against ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks continue to impact organisations worldwide with high costs, but businesses are still largely unprepared.
Story image
Samsung
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Story image
Cybersecurity
How organisations can mitigate IoT and IIoT security risks
IoT and IIoT come with inherent risks because they are often deployed faster than they can be secured, putting organisations in danger of cyber threats. Here are tips on how to mitigate those risks.
Story image
Training
Barracuda customises training to fit ACSC Essential Eight
Barracuda has announced that its Security Awareness Training now provides a customised training curriculum in line with the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) Essential Eight.
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
Story image
Malware
Colt launches new SASE Gateway solution with Versa
Colt Technology Services’ customers now have access to an integrated full SASE solution that brings together SD WAN and SSE features.
Story image
Accounting
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
CSG
To win at 5G, telcos must tame their quoting chaos
The catalogs of CSP (communication service providers) market offerings are set to explode as new digital services emerge, powered by B2B2X business models.
Story image
Document Management
NZ's FileInvite raises $10M in latest investment round
FileInvite has raised $10 million in Series A investment to fast-forward the extinction of email for requesting and collecting documents online.
Story image
Payroll
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.