Why is an assessment for Digital Twinning useful?
There are many different digitalization solutions available on the market and Digital Twinning is only one of them. SME’s are often focused on running the daily business, and lack the time to immerse themselves in all available options. In order for SME’s to invest in digitalization, however, they need to understand how these solutions will benefit their business.
The Change2Twin project aims to support companies in finding a solution that is tailored to their specific business needs and ambitions. Therefore the Change2Twin assessment team, led by TNO, has prepared a method for assessing digital preparedness of SME’s. The assessment is intended to explore the SME’s ambitions and evaluate whether and how Digital Twinning can help the company to achieve them.
What is the Change2Twin assessment exactly?
The Change2Twin assessment consists of two parts: a Digital Transformation and Readiness assessment. It starts with understanding the SME’s current situation and what their future business ambitions are. The Digital Transformation assessment links the business needs to digital transformation pathways and indicates the relevance of digital twinning as a solution. If applicable, the most relevant Digital Twinning purposes are indicated, which are the input for the Readiness assessments. The SME can then find out what technical and organizational changes need to be implemented for this specific Digital Twin to become functional.
The assessment method is accompanied by 2 supporting tools, the Compass and Readiness tools, that have been designed to help DIHs with the assessment process. It gives the consultant guidelines to follow and to make sure all important aspects in the analysis are covered. The assessment gives a good sense of the underlying client situation and problem, before devising a technical solution. This makes the assessment process more efficient and moreover, it helps SME’s making the right investment choices in digital technology.
How did the Change2Twin assessment evolve?
The assessment team began in summer 2020 with gathering information on needs and way of working from solution providers, DIHs and the pilot companies involved in the project. Moreover an inventory and comparison of existing methods and tools for assessing companies on digitalization was made. This lead to a first version of the assessment process and tools, created by TNO digital twinning experts. In autumn 2020 this version was intensely tested, adjusted and validated with the four pilot companies, until it was ready for launch by the end of 2020.
During the training in January 2021 the DIHs were introduced and made familiar with the assessment process and the (Excel) tools. Afterwards recordings of the training as well as explaining documents were provided to the DIH’s to help them get acquainted with the material. The assessment team also provided support with issues and questions.
In springtime 2021 the assessment team developed an online version of the two assessment tools, to make the assessment process even easier for the DIH’s and SME’s. Early summer 2021 an assessment Q&A session for the DIH’s was held, during which also the online tools were presented and received with great enthusiasm.
The DIH’s thus now have both the Excel and online tools to support them in the assessment process, which they started applying successfully during late summer 2021. Currently 19 SME’s have been supported with their digitalization efforts by DIH’s that have successfully carried out the first Change2Twin assessment.
Change2Twin will launch the second open call for the Assessment Voucher on 30 June 2022. SMEs will again have the opportunity to apply for this funding. We will also accept applications from DIHs to join the Change2Twin network.
For detailed information about the Assessment procedure and the tools, read the section Change2Twinn Assessment in a Nutshell.
Written by: Laura van den Aarssen, TNO
Laura is the co-author of Change2Twin Assessment methodology, including the Readiness and Compass tools.