This blog features commentary from Jan Devereux, Head of Customer Value for Zag part of Accenture, on Accenture’s 2021 Technology Vision for SAP Solutions Driving Change Leading with the SAP Ecosystem.

Companies are using digital twins – built on real-time, historic, and even simulated data – to virtually and dynamically model their factory machines, agricultural equipment, processes, products, and more.

Already, they’re transforming their businesses with their ability to monitor operations and simulate future scenarios.

Organisations are also starting to link their digital twins together in unbroken threads of data. They are connecting them in models of whole factories, whole supply chains, whole product lifecycles and more.

They are building mirrored worlds, where they can bring data and intelligence together at scale, running simulations and asking and answering big picture questions like “how will it impact my operations if I have to close this warehouse?” or “How can I update this product to be more sustainable, and can I do that with my existing vendors?”

These networks of intelligent digital twins are giving organizations big picture insight into real-time operations and future possibilities, and they will drive a step-change in how businesses operate, innovate, and even how they collaborate with each other.

Organisations will be able to increase efficiency and autonomy in factories, enable the AI-driven design of products, and share data, designs, and simulations between partners and across ecosystems.

Summary of what’s happening:

•       As businesses thread digital technology throughout their operations, huge new sources of data are being unlocked which are fueling massive networks of intelligent digital twins.

•       This mirrored world enables businesses to simulate, predict, and automate what they do like never before, enabling them to refocus on end-to-end supply chain resilience.

65% of executed surveyed expect

“Their organisation’s investment in intelligent digital twins to increase over the next three years.”

*Source: Accenture Technology Vision 2021 Business and IT Executive Survey. Global N=6,241. ANZ N=360

The mirrored world, and all the intelligent digital twins connected in it, are making data and intelligence the primary drivers of business, and they are pushing industries toward a more agile and intelligent future.

There are three things technology leaders can do today to unlock the power of digital twins using SAP:

  1. Acquire end-to-end visibility across the supply chain in near real-time.
  • Create a “digital thread” with real-time connectivity across the supply chain.
  • Leverage the SAP Logistics Business Network’s native integration with third-party add-ons.
  • Integrate processes with SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence and SAP BTP.
  1. Achieve digital continuity to tear down organizational silos and gain cross-function visibility.
  • Use the digital thread to break down operational siloes and give the business a shared view of data.
  • Create digital continuity by connecting engineering, manufacturing, operations, and partner organisations via the integrated SAP Product Lifecycle Management and/or SAP Production Engineering and Operations embedded solutions.
  1. Run “what if” simulations and anticipate challenges with enhanced forecasting and predictive capabilities.
  • Mirror the flow of materials and information with SAP’s integrated demand-driven material requirements planning.
  • Leverage SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) to simulate and analyse supply chain actions and their related logistics and financial impacts.
  • Use SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence to accurately forecast the impact of production changes.

What to do first?

Examine opportunities to capitalise on new digital twin capabilities e.g. with SAP Logistics Business Network (LBN) and the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP).

Start running “what if” simulations to improve forecasting and mirror the flow of information e.g., with Integrated Business Planning (IBP).

Get in touch at info@zag.team or with your Zag Account Manager if you would like support.