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Digital Twins to Reshape Retail Business by 2035

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Digital twin technology will act as a critical enabler for executives by helping them rehearse the future. It will transform businesses by using the predictive nature of the technology to collaborate with other organizations more closely

A foresight survey called ‘TCS Digital Twindex’ done by Tata Consultancy Services predicts that Digital Twins – virtual replicas of physical objects, processes, or systems that are used to simulate, predict, and improve real-world activities – will revolutionize homes, workplaces, communities, businesses and even healthcare in the coming years.

The Digital Twindex has been prepared by TCS Futurists based on a study conducted using the Delphi technique, which is utilized in foresight to reduce bias and reach consensus around both quantitative and qualitative questions.

Participants in the study included scientists, futurists, and subject matter experts from across TCS’ networks. They were asked to rate how soon widespread digital twin adoption would occur across industries and society at large. They also answered open-ended questions around the impact and risk of digital twin technologies. Some of the results from the TCS Digital Twindex are given below and they demonstrate the potential for digital twin technology to shape the next decade and

• Digital twins will become commonplace across business and society by 2035.

• Healthcare (52%), mobility (52%) and retail (47%) were selected by respondents as the industries that will adopt digital twins most quickly, within the next 3 years.

• When asked to explain which digital twin use-cases would most impact human life, survey participants pointed to connected real-time healthcare and efficient energy management.

• When asked to identify the risks of digital twins, experts overwhelmingly highlighted privacy, cyber security, and concerns around data management.

One of the most significant advantages of digital twins is their ability to use data to model future scenarios. This capability has proven crucial in industries such as manufacturing, where digital twins can anticipate machine failures and optimize
maintenance schedules, reducing downtime and costs.

Experts predict that these benefits will be democratized across many industries such as mobility, healthcare, retail, and sustainability in the coming years. In the retail sector, digital twins can enhance customer experiences and operational efficiency by simulating various scenarios and optimizing outcomes.

This article first appeared in IMAGES Group’s Progressive Grocer June 2023 issue

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