Creating A Digital Twin Of Your Enterprise Architecture

Posted by Neil Sheppard on June 17, 2024
Creating A Digital Twin Of Your Enterprise Architecture

Digital twin technology is empowering organizations to experiment with their enterprise architecture without the risk. Find out how SAP LeanIX can enable you to build a digital twin.

Digital twins are effective tools for experimenting and innovating on your IT landscape without the risk of making a misstep. The technology empowers you to create an artificial copy of your infrastructure and play out a transformation process to learn the potential impact without the risk.

Numerous industries are leveraging digital twins to understand and optimize their operations, and now it's the turn of enterprise architecture. Using the SAP LeanIX solution, you can create an application information repository and experiment with it, just as you would a digital twin.

To find out more about what SAP LeanIX can do, book a demo: 

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What Is A Digital Twin?

A digital twin is a computer simulation of your enterprise infrastructure. By creating an accurate model of your systems, processes, and logistics, you can experiment with transformation in a sandbox environment and get a clear picture of the likely impacts of change.

For example, Shell adds monitoring sensors to their offshore oil drilling platforms and uses that real-time data to create digital twins of the platforms. This way, they can assess their processes, improve training, and test new ideas.

Likewise, global retail giant, Walmart, creates digital twins of their stores, complete with virtual customers. They experiment with layouts and build an optimal customer experience before they even lay the groundwork for the store.

The local government of Singapore took this one stage further, and built a complete digital twin of the entire city. They use this to test changes to the city and discover how construction work will impact the flow of traffic.

Meanwhile, electric automobile manufacturer, Tesla has created a digital twin of, not just one car, but every car they sell. This allows them to predict when vehicles under warranty are likely to malfunction and where the best location is for repair centers.

From there, it's relatively simple to imagine a 'digital twin of the organization' (DTO), a complete virtual copy of your entire company that allows you to test, experiment and derive insight before you invest in transformation and disrupt your operations. Our partner, SAP Signavio, has been named a market leader for DTO technology and it's easy to see the value of their business process mapping.

For enterprise architects, it's just as valuable to have a sandbox environment in which to test changes to their application portfolio. That's precisely what SAP LeanIX is offering.


How A Digital Twin Can Support Enterprise Architecture

With a digital twin of your application portfolio and IT components, you can safely test the replacement or removal software from your IT landscape to see an accurate representation of the benefits and consequences of the change before you commit to it. This empowers enterprise architects to experiment with innovation and mitigate risks before they happen.

The key to preventing enterprise architecture from becoming an 'ivory tower' exercise is to ensure all your innovation is grounded in the reality of your as-is state. Rather than unrealistic ambitions for your IT landscape that can never be realized, enterprise architects need to provide 'low-hanging fruit' changes to existing applications that can provide real value to the business.

By creating a digital twin of your application portfolio based on real data about your current IT landscape in SAP LeanIX, and business processes through SAP Signavio, you can ensure your enterprise architecture has real value beyond blue-sky thinking. It's like having a crystal ball to see the outcome of your enterprise architecture decisions before you make them.

Frankly, using digital twin technology to empower your enterprise architecture makes it difficult to imagine how enterprise architects ever functioned without it. Yet, technology like artificial intelligence (AI) will soon empower your digital twins even further.


Leveraging AI To Create Your Digital Twin

Accurate digital twins are built using a tremendous number of data sources. Comprehending that data and deriving insights from it is much easier for artificial intelligence (AI) platforms that can process vast amounts of information.

By automating the process of creating and maintaining your digital twin, you can focus on innovation, but the value goes beyond that. AI can simulate real-world circumstances and create an even-more intelligent digital twin.

AI technology can even simulate user behavior to test how change to your IT landscape will impact on the day-to-day operations of your organization. Rather than see your innovations hampered by the human element, you can ensure that your enterprise architecture supports user needs before they even know you're making changes.

Empowering your enterprise architecture with a comprehensive, intelligent digital twin allows you to find the initiatives that will drive real value for your business. Enterprise architecture can derive as much from digital twins as any other industry, but powered by AI, EA can become a vital part of any organization.

That's why enterprise architects can benefit from SAP LeanIX. This is particularly the case when used in conjunction with SAP Signavio.


How SAP LeanIX Can Support You

The application information repository that forms the basis of the SAP LeanIX Application Portfolio Management product is essentially a digital twin of your IT landscape. Working with the SAP LeanIX Technology Risk and Compliance product, you can even add a map of your IT components to your digital twin.

It's the SAP LeanIX Architecture and Road Map Planning product that unlocks the true power of the digital twin, however. It's this solution that turns your application repository into a sandbox for you to experiment and innovate with.

We're just starting out with our AI journey, but SAP LeanIX customers can already leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) for enterprise architecture. With SAP LeanIX, you can:

  • automate documentation tasks [bullet]speed up report creation
  • research successor technologies [bullet]provide architecture recommendations
  • simplify access to EA tools for business users [bullet]and more besides

All this serves to empower your enterprise architecture digital twin. Using this, you can create a modern, effective enterprise architecture function.

To find out more about what SAP LeanIX can do, book a demo: 

Request demo

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