The Pros And Cons Of Digital Twin Infrastructure Planning

Posted on: 21 October 2021

As digital technology advances in ways that increase efficiency and also create additional complications, governments and municipalities have to tread carefully when implementing new digital tools. This is especially true for digital twin technology—the ability to recreate physical spaces and infrastructure as a 3D digital visualization of the space. Digital twins are designed to monitor current performance and maintenance but can also assist with the design and simulation of future improvements. However, do the pros of this system outweigh the cons?  


Potential For Huge Cost Benefits

One of the major benefits of digital twin infrastructure is the potential for huge cost reductions in infrastructure maintenance. Every day billions of dollars are spent on physical inspections and the monitoring of infrastructure like bridges and roads. In fact, bridge inspections cost the United States $1.35 billion every year. Digitizing this information could create massive savings.  


Humans are intelligent but can often get so focused on the present that there are no plans for problems in the future. Digital twin infrastructure technology can make up the difference where humans lag by offering intelligent maintenance predictions. Predicting problems in advance can eliminate huge unexpected costs and it can also help avoid supply and resource bottlenecks caused by last-minute problems.  

Real-Time Info

Another major advantage of using digital twin infrastructure technology is the ability to monitor infrastructure in real-time remotely. The ability to stop a small problem before it becomes a big problem often comes down to something a simple as time. The quicker you can access the system and manage the issue, the less likely it can snowball into other areas, creating additional costly problems. Real-time data can also help municipalities see where improvements can be made and where efficiencies can be created


Digital Security

The biggest challenge with creating digital twin technology is ensuring digital security so that the digital infrastructure environment isn't susceptible to bad actors like hackers or disgruntled employees who can take advantage of any weaknesses in security protocols. To ensure the efficacy of digital twin technology, security must be a top priority from the very beginning of implementation.  

Requires Large Network Of Sensors

The only way that a digital twin infrastructure can function effectively is by relying on a huge network of sensors that provide data for the twin. Those sensors will require maintenance. However, these data sensors also increase the security risk and create more points that can be compromised. Security must be a top priority here as well.

For more information about digital twins, contact a local company, like CityZenith.