Traditional enterprise models were designed when computerized business was still in its infancy. IT was a department that supplied and supported servers, desktops, and notebooks to business users. IT improved business efficiency, but it wasn’t the platform for business. Technology was slow-changing and siloed organizational structures reflected the rigid, hierarchical approach to organizing people and work.
But the pace of business changed in correlation with the rate of change as Peter Frisk’s graph points out. The average lifespan of companies has fallen from 75 years in 1950 to 15 years today; 52% of the Fortune 500 in 2000 were gone by 2020. The traditional enterprise has not kept up with the demands of fast-paced emerging technologies like Digital Twins, Internet of Things (IoT), Distributed Ledgers, AI, Quantum Computing, and a smorgasbord of high-impact technologies. These innovative technologies drive changes in new products, services and the new business models needed to support them.
The pace of change requires agile and resilient enterprise architectures that enable multi-disciplinary teams to be highly responsive in exploiting business events in an innovative way. It still, however, needs to have guardrails to protect the organization from unnecessary risk.
The keynote at Gartner’s 2020 ITxpo introduced the concept of a Composable Enterprise that enable teams that combine business and IT to compose new “fit for purpose” applications in a fraction of the time that it takes in traditional software development processes. Gartner predicts that “by 2023, organizations that have adopted an intelligent composable approach will outpace the competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation.” 
The Composable Enterprise is powered by Composable Business Applications. Digital Twins, in turn, are a class of this Composable Business Applications that deliver specific high-value business capabilities in the Composable Enterprise. Digital Twins can compose and package these high-value capabilities in what Gartner refers to as PBCs or Packaged Business Capability.
To better understand Composable Digital Twins (CDT) and their value to the organization, it is worth exploring Composable Business Applications in more detail.
What is a Composable Business Application?
Traditional 3-tiered business applications were hierarchically structured with a data layer at the base, an application logic layer in the middle, and a user interface layer at the top. The introduction of service-oriented architecture (SOA), APIs and micro-services provided some flexibility, but traditional business applications still reflect this rigid design pattern. Changes to business logic are compiled into the larger codebase of the application and rely on specialized developers to make changes at any of the three layers of the business application.
The reference model describes the key components necessary to create Composable Business Applications for your Composable Enterprise. I highly recommend that you read the reference model document by Gartner, but I will highlight a few elements related to composing digital twins using this approach.