Digital Twins: CIO War Rooms for 5G Core Connected Networks

5G Core, scheduled to be launched in 2020, coincides with the emergence of the increasingly automated enterprise self-driven by artificial intelligence. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and challenges of 5G Core Standalone, as well as what CIOs need to know about digital twins.

Pivot for the Moving Parts of the Autonomous Enterprise

5G Core makes for an anchor for the autonomous enterprise. It interconnects a maze of systems that include databases with data flowing from connected devices and the Internet of Things, the multi-cloud networks, applications and platforms, blockchains, and machine intelligence.

All these services are available on-demand at warp speed and distributed across physical facilities at multiple edges synchronized by a diversity of orchestration software. They provide the components that wheel the operations of the autonomous enterprise.

Digital twins play a complementary role by virtually representing the warrens of interconnected systems on a single graphical user interface. They monitor the activity and performance of the interconnected systems and the physical facilities they track by drawing on data from condition-monitoring sensors.

How 5G Core Standalone is Different

5G Core brings the full capabilities of 5G Networking including mMTC (massive machine-type communications) and Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC).

mMTC creates connections for machines to communicate with each other. Data from machine sensors could be used, for example, to prompt movements in robots. Machine intelligence processes the data to decide on the type of action to be taken.

URLLC is for mission-critical applications like virtual reality, which displays operations in the autonomous enterprise on digital twins. Frequent interactions with visuals on digital twins, by those who drill down to seek granular information, demand low latency. Reliable networks support, for example, streams of video updates of activities in physical facilities presented on digital twins.

5G Standalone operates independently of 4G with its own Core or the Evolved Packet Core which is the brain and the orchestrator of the sub-units in the larger network. Early deployments of 5G in 2019 were not standalone and relied on the 4G Core. They were useful primarily to channel high bandwidth traffic generated by video and streaming media.

CIOs Need Digital Twins to Manage Complexity

CIOs will need to grapple with the nuances of digital twins and the opportunities they provide for gaining efficiencies. They provide visibility into the maze of interdependent systems as complex as supply chains. Additionally, digital twins have features for controls, and decision-support for synchronizing and optimizing workflows.

Most digital twins have been designed for pilot projects and do not have standard data models or methods for classifying data. They are unable to scale when systems grow in size and need to aggregate data from new sources. Consequently, the data that they superimpose on visuals or use for predictions will be misleading.

Some of the ways digital twins help to streamline operations include:

  • Data and activity: Updated data on the performance, activity, and health of the component assets and systems including tracing shortfalls or outperformance.
  • Simulations of what-if scenarios to test for resilience of systems in varying operating and ambient conditions including opportunities for optimization.
  • Predictive analytics for forecasting the maintenance or replacements of assets within systems.
  • Remote controls: The ability to reset operations interactively by manipulating graphics.
Conclusions

5G Core Standalone brings the network attributes of low latency, reliability, and high bandwidth for systems to interconnect. Digital twins reduce the complexity of the systems to interactive visuals for CIOs to understand root causes, weigh decision trade-offs, exercise control for remedial actions, and predict to foresee outcomes.

About Link Consulting Services

Link Consulting Services is a global staffing and recruitment consulting organization specializing in High-Tech, SATCOM, Mobile Communications, and Tech Sales. The company is among the select few to earn ClearlyRated’s coveted 2019 Best of Staffing® Client and Talent Awards. Since 2005, internal Consultants have placed more than 10,000 highly skilled technology and business leaders in Fortune 500 and industry-leading organizations around the world, leveraging Link Consulting Services’ proprietary Recruitment as a Service model and more than 50 years of combined management experience in the recruitment industry. CEO and Founder Natalia Sans serves on the Forbes Los Angeles Business Council. Learn more at www.link-cs.com.

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