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PTC : The State ofDigital ThreadHow Companies areClosing the Loop BetweenDigital and Physical

Today’s industry leaders consider digital thread initiatives a top priority. When stacked up against fifteen other technologic, strategic, and economic trends, participants of PTC’s State of Digital Thread survey identified digital thread as the second most impactful, trailing only supply chain agility and ahead of typical headliners like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, the evolving workforce, and digital twins. PTC’s digital thread research, which includes a market survey of 150 engineering, manufacturing, service, and IT department leaders, explores the notion of digital thread in detail: what it means in concept, how it manifests in practice, the value it provides companies today, and the challenges they face in implementation. In this paper we share our findings.

The Data Gap To be competitive today, companies need to be agile yet scrupulous in their decision making and responsive and flexible in operati

ons, which means information needs to be available, comprehensive, and in-context. Seventy-four percent of leaders who participated in PTC’s recent State of Digital Thread survey cite improving their ability to leverage data across the enterprise would be effective or highly effective at addressing disruption. However, less than 34% say that data created within their department is widely available on their enterprise systems. This drops to 16% for company data generated outside their department, 9% for data from customers or products in the field, and 8% for data from suppliers. This lack of data accessibility suggests a tremendous gap between the perceived value of data and the ability of companies to recognize that value

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