Technology Record - Issue 27: Winter 2022

125 Digital twin solutions from Avanade and Microsoft are helping manufacturers address challenges faster than ever before I NDU S T R I A L S & MANU FAC TUR I NG are adjusting from product-centric to service-centric business models. “This not only improves experiences for partners and customers, but it also creates new revenue streams,” says Maybank. “Differentiation and advantage can only go so far at the physical product level, so the real opportunity lies in combining products and services, which gives you smart connected products. “Smart connected products are leading to an innovation in new services that are softwaredriven and powered by data and intelligence. We are helping manufacturing organisations to rethink their processes and digitally reinvent core business operations, products, employee and customer experiences and even new business models.” Lowndes believes that smart connected products involve a radical shift to longer-term services revenues. “These new services can be as simple as a consumer tracking their use of a given product, or as complex as notifying a supplier of a future maintenance need in advance, without any human intervention,” he says. However, the complex network of relationships between finished smart connected products in the field, their owners or operators, and the supply chain and manufacturing business operations which support them, can be overwhelming. “This is where digital twins play their role,” says Lowndes. “We can model that complexity such that each physical product has its own digital twin, and those complex relationships are modelled around these twins. This approach enables a wide variety of different business models to share a common core architecture, enabling a variety of business use cases to be more easily deployed.” According to Accenture’s Technology Trends 2021 report, 90 per cent of executives agree that, in order to be agile and resilient, their organisations need to fast forward their digital transformation with the cloud at the core. “With this in mind, digital twins are becoming a key enabler of the ‘smart digital manufacturing’ movement by blending the digital and physical and delivering tangible ROI,” says Maybank. “They will be key to realising the vision of the manufacturing industry that we are all striving for.” “ Digital twins can be used to replicate, simulate, test, alter or even destroy, in order to uncover hidden insights that the physical twin could never reveal” CHRIS LOWNDES, AVANADE