As far as digitalization activities in companies become trending topic, interesting connections with management arise. This can be an interesting opportunity for new students in the field, when they become outstanding in using those new sources of data describing the on-going processes.

In the current practices for companies leading digital transformation technologies such as workflows based on XPDL, BPEL, and BPMN are integrated with data coming from SCADA and IIoT or other workflows. Therefore, students need to be aware of such technologies as well, however, when Lean management approaches are in place, special attention must be paid to process variability sources, as they become the clear enemy to be identified first and reduced later.

When the goal is to identify variability sources in an I4.0 context, most of processes are partially described as they collect information from process related sensors but they mostly are blind regarding the influence coming from the human participation. Then, it becomes even more important collect information from all the depending sources. Future students will need advanced skills in getting consistent understanding from processes in such wider perspective and become actives in setting up data collection and integration schemas providing a better process description. Then, more accurate decision making actions can be carried out.

Indeed, such extended information from processes will allow to develop big analytics over them, facilitating knowledge gathering and standardization. We have called such integration from different sources for better describing processes as hybridization or data fusion.

Prof. Joaquín Ordieres-Meré

The Technical University of Madrid