Digital twins spend to reach $12.7bn by 2021

Total global spend on digital twins technology will reach $12.7 billion by 2021, an increase of 17 per cent from $10.8 billion in 2019, according to Juniper research.

Digital twins are a digital representation of physical assets that utilise Internet of Things (IoT) data, enabling use cases such as predictive maintenance when combined with artificial intelligence.

Juniper Research outlined that despite the negative impact of COVID-19, it is only anticipating a one per cent drop in overall digital twins spend in 2020.

Investment is being driven by valuable efficiency gains, which are increasingly essential in uncertain times. The research 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 report 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.

Research co-author Nick Maynard explained: “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 solutions."

The analysis identified that manufacturing will be the single biggest sector for digital twins deployment, accounting for 34 per cent of total spend in 2021, followed by energy and utilities at 18 per cent.

It forecasted that North America will dominate, accounting for 67 per cent of manufacturing spend in 2021 - adding that the US has had successful partnerships in the IoT ecosystem driving adoption; an approach that should be replicated in other markets.

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