24 September 2023

Digital Technology Guru

Digital Technology Guru Reviews

The Cultural Challenges of Implementing Digital Twins

2 min read
The Cultural Challenges of Implementing Digital Twins

Digital twins have the potential to revolutionize various industries creating digital representations of physical objects and systems. However, widespread adoption of digital twins faces cultural challenges within organizations.

One of the biggest challenges is the need for increased information sharing across different parts of the company. This can create political issues related to funding, staffing, and prestige within large organizations. Despite the technical nature of digital twins, addressing these organizational aspects is crucial for successful implementation.

Dr. Michael Grieves, executive director and chief scientist for the Digital Twin Institute, emphasizes the need to overcome cultural paradigms. He compares the adoption of digital twins to the debate between theoretical physics and experimental physics, stating that transformative ideas often happen suddenly rather than through gradual experimentation.

John Vickers, a NASA principal technologist, echoes this sentiment and emphasizes the importance of bridging silos within organizations. While he acknowledges the challenges of implementing new technologies, he highlights the need to embrace the paradigm shift and the potential benefits it brings.

Enterprises are advised to focus on the low-hanging fruit, where digital twins can demonstrate meaningful value. Rather than starting with expensive, complex digital twins, organizations should focus on use cases where there is sufficient compute power to deliver real value. This approach allows for incremental progress and funding to support future initiatives that can leverage the advancements in compute infrastructure.

It should be noted that the successful adoption of digital twins requires addressing the needs of both digital natives and traditional stakeholders. While digital natives may be more focused on the social media aspects of virtual reality and the metaverse, Grieves believes that the true value of digital twins lies elsewhere.

While industries such as healthcare still struggle to make sense of existing data, NASA is making significant progress in adopting digital twin technology. Vickers highlights how digital twins have helped NASA optimize their systems, such as building a prototype liquid hydrogen tank for a rocket. The digital twin accurately predicted the tank’s failure mode, saving time and money compared to relying solely on physical prototypes. However, the existing culture still favors physical experimentation over analytical predictions.

In conclusion, the future of digital twins presents both challenges and opportunities. Cultural barriers, organizational silos, and the need for information sharing must be addressed to fully realize the potential of this transformative technology.


  • Source Article: Frankie’s – Shutterstock