What is Digital Thread? (Definition, Examples)

Last updated on by Editorial Staff
Digital Thread

An increasingly popular concept for digital transformation, a digital thread allows information to flow from one department to another department, teams, and organizations.

It has the potential to revolutionize how people communicate within their companies, as well as how they create and deliver products and services to customers. 

The article will discuss the definition of the digital thread, its benefits, and examples.

What is a digital thread?

It is an interconnected system of data, processes, and applications that allows information to flow seamlessly between teams, departments, and organizations.

It is a concept used in the digital transformation which enables organizations to manage and track activities across the entire life cycle of a product or service, from design through delivery. 

By tying together disparate systems such as CAD/CAM, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), the digital thread offers more efficient collaboration, better decision-making, and increased visibility throughout the life cycle of any project.

With the right strategy in place, It can be used to gain meaningful insights into product lifecycles, improve customer satisfaction and increase organizational resilience.

What is Digital Thread


Improved collaboration

With a digital thread, teams are better connected and can communicate more efficiently in real-time, resulting in ongoing dialogue and collaboration throughout the life cycle of any product. 

Enhanced decision making

By linking the various processes into one system via the digital thread, decision-makers can access more accurate data and greater visibility over company activities and operations.

Increased efficiency

The interconnected systems within a digital thread enable streamlined workflows and automated tasks, which result in improved efficiency across the organization.

Reduced cycle time

By having all data necessary for decision-making accessible in one place, cycle times for projects or processes can be significantly reduced as decisions are made quickly with no need for manual interventions or double-checking of information.

Better customer satisfaction

By giving customers access to reliable data about their products or services through the digital thread, companies can provide improved customer service, which leads to greater customer satisfaction. 

Increased resilience

Adopting a digital thread is an important step towards organizational resilience since it enables more efficient reporting, monitoring, and tracking of business processes which helps to identify potential issues before they become problematic. 

Greater visibility

With the data collected by a digital thread easily accessible in a single platform, organizations gain increased visibility into their activities and operations, which helps them better understand their performance over time and make informed decisions based on this information.

How does digital thread enable digital twins?

It enables digital twins by connecting all related data and processes into a single system across a product’s life cycle from design to delivery. That allows for the creation of a virtual representation of an object or system that can be monitored and adjusted in real time.

Data from various connected systems are aggregated and presented in an interactive, user-friendly interface, providing powerful insights and improved decision-making. 

Digital twins also allow businesses to simulate scenarios and quickly test different approaches before they take action, resulting in better outcomes with minimal risk.

In addition, as digital twins are constantly updated with new information, organizations are more agile and able to better anticipate changes in their environment.

Digital thread examples

  • Examples include asset tracking systems, digital supply chain management solutions, customer intelligence platforms, and predictive analytics tools. 
  • This system is also used in manufacturing to connect design and production data, allowing for more accurate monitoring of products throughout the entire lifecycle. 
  • These systems can be leveraged for remote collaboration, allowing distributed teams to access the same information and share resources in real time easily. 
  • Finally, many industries are using this technology as a basis for AI and machine learning applications, enabling them to make better decisions faster.

Real-life examples

Some of the Real-life examples are as follows. 

  • Smart building systems, such as security and surveillance systems, 
  • HVAC automation and environmental sensors. 
  • It is used in healthcare to connect patient records, care plans, and medical devices, allowing healthcare personnel to access the information immediately. 
  • It is used in the automotive industry to provide drivers with better navigation assistance and improved safety features. 
  • Many industries use it for predictive analytics and real-time decision-making solutions.


In conclusion, digital thread provides organizations with the tools they need to remain competitive and efficient. By securely and accurately connecting data from different sources, businesses can reduce costs, increase operational efficiency and improve customer experience.

Furthermore, by streamlining processes with advanced tools like Asset Trackers, CyberX Cybersecurity Platform, and Predix Industrial IoT Platform, companies can gain real-time insights into their operations that will lead to growth and success.


State of Digital thread