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Building a Digital Twin of an Enterprise

Promoting, understanding, and building digital twins have become the trendy goals of many organizations. It is time that we delve into this topic and put Archipeg and Enterprise Architecture in the context of this terminology.

Why Digital Twin?

The concept of a digital twin is very straightforward - we need to build a digital copy or a clone of the subject under focus. For example, if we speak about an airplane, the digital twin would be a flight simulator; in the case of an organization, we would expect to produce electronic information that describes the subject. While Enterprise Architecture software such as Archipeg allows defining such data, why do we take on such an effort in the first place?

Digital twins help make decisions cheaply and efficiently, allowing us to decrease risks by testing the "what if" scenarios ahead of time. Indeed, learning to land a virtual airplane is better than practicing it for the first time on a plane full of passengers, don't you agree? Similarly, changing the names, attributes, and associations between the virtual objects representing assets of the organization is much easier than restructuring the existing company.

How to Compose a Digital Twin?

While the idea behind the digital twin is understandable, composing such structures requires efforts and knowledge of what you are trying to achieve. Luckily, when it comes to EA, specialized Enterprise Architecture tools and SaaS solutions take that heavy-lifting away from you, allowing you to focus on a streamlined set of activities that comprise the digital twin. Still, knowing the details behind the thought process will help you make maximum out of the EA tools.

Defining a digital twin means composing a large-scale digital structure that consists of informational building blocks. Why? Any learning or theory consists of interconnected blocks of information, and the digital twin is nothing other than a representation of knowledge and insights around an organization. If you noticed, we mentioned the building blocks and also their interconnected nature. Why do we need these links?

If you examine a digital twin of the airplane, perhaps it needs to express the connection between the pilot's steering wheel and the reactive motion of engines. Similarly, if the organization has a customer who pays for a particular application, we need to connect the two mentioned blocks digitally. If these statements start to make sense now, you would agree that the digital twin needs to specify the linkage between the blocks.

The basic idea of the interconnected informational building blocks sits at the foundation of Archipeg Enterprise Architecture Software too. Specifically, practitioners and users define both objects as well as associations between them. Later on, when the data is captured, this structure allows discovering objects and traversing the graph of the elements in any way you wish.

How to Leverage a Digital Twin?

There is tremendous value in seeing a digital twin in action. You can document and track information about all customers, contracts, products, people, equipment, and other resources where the company invests or spends money, for starters. Managing this dataset and, importantly, understanding and socializing the big picture is a constant challenge for many enterprises.

Furthermore, you can experiment with the digital twin by defining new objects that do not (yet) correspond to real-life structures. After all, this is what Enterprise Architecture and Solution Architecture practitioners frequently do. Without the virtual model of the future, it would be exponentially harder to make decisions and plan the implementation steps accurately.

The digital twin is that starting point that helps both explore the current state and plan the future by describing digital transformation activities. There are more benefits behind this idea, and we are curious to see what you can make out of it.

 

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