Embracing the power of three with digital triplets

Embracing the power of three with digital triplets


Digital triplets have the scope to build on the success of digital twins by creating a dynamic representation of a business’s operations and processes, as well as its physical assets, according to Thorsten Fuchs at Orbus Software

Guest contributor |

The concept of a digital triplet is relatively new. It builds on the idea of a digital twin – which comprises a physical object and its virtual replica – and adds a third component to the equation. While a digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical object, and a digital blueprint is a virtual representation of an enterprise architecture, a digital triplet combines these two concepts with real-time data to create a more dynamic representation of an organisation’s operations.  

A digital triplet consists of: the physical object, a tangible asset such as a machine or building that is being monitored and managed; the digital twin, a virtual representation of that physical object that includes its design specifications, operational data, and maintenance history; and real-time data, which is collected from sensors and other monitoring devices that are attached to the physical object. This data is used to update the digital twin in real time, creating a dynamic replica of the physical object’s current state. 

By combining these three components, a digital triplet provides a more complete and accurate representation of an organisation’s operations. This allows organisations to optimise their operations, identify potential issues before they become problems, and make more informed decisions based on real-time data.  

So, how is this relevant to enterprise architecture?  

A digital triplet could be used to simulate the impact of changes to an organisation’s IT infrastructure, such as adding new applications, upgrading hardware or software, or changing network configurations.  

If, for example, a company wanted to assess the potential impact of migrating its existing applications to a new cloud-based platform, it could use a digital triplet to simulate a range of migration scenarios, such as different application workloads, network configurations or hardware requirements. By analysing the resulting data, it could gain insights into the potential impact of these changes on its IT operations, including changes in response times, scalability or availability.  

A digital triplet could also help organisations identify potential issues before they occur. For instance, by analysing real-time data from the digital twin and comparing it to historical data, organisations could identify patterns that might indicate the potential for system failures or other issues. This could allow them time to take proactive measures to prevent these issues from occurring, such as applying patches or updates to systems before they become vulnerable to attack.  

Enterprise architects could incorporate digital triplets into their analysis and decision-making processes, shifting their focus from static enterprise architecture diagrams and models to a more dynamic and real-time approach. Implementing digital twins and real-time data could create a more accurate and up-to-date representation of an organisation’s operations.  

The scope for digital triplets is vast and there are potential use cases for the technology to also be applied in environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies. ESG metrics are becoming increasingly important for organisations to track and report, as stakeholders place greater emphasis on the impact of business operations. A digital triplet could be used to monitor and report on ESG metrics, providing organisations with data to help them make more informed decisions and improve their ESG performance.  

For example, a manufacturing company may use a digital triplet to track its energy consumption, waste production and carbon emissions in real time. The digital twin would provide a virtual representation of the manufacturing facility including its layout, equipment and processes. The real-time data component would collect data from sensors and other monitoring devices attached to the facility’s equipment and systems, providing real-time updates to the digital twin.  

The enterprise architect would work with the sustainability team and other stakeholders to identify the key ESG metrics to monitor, such as energy usage, waste generation, water usage and carbon emissions. They would then configure the digital triplet to collect and analyse data on these metrics, providing real-time insights into the facility’s ESG performance.  

By monitoring ESG metrics in real time, the manufacturing company could identify areas where it can improve its sustainability performance, such as by reducing energy consumption, minimising waste, or implementing more efficient production processes. This could help the organisation decrease its environmental impact, reduce costs and meet the expectations of customers and other stakeholders.  

Thorsten Fuchs is chief marketing officer at Orbus Software 

This article was originally published in the Summer 2023 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription

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