We continue our series of QualiChain partner interviews with Sérgio Luís Proença Duarte Guerreiro. Sérgio is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon (IST/UL), Portugal, acting in the Information Systems scientific area. He is also a researcher at the INESC-ID, IDSS (Information and Decision Support Systems Lab). He obtained his PhD in Information Systems and Computer Engineering at IST/UL. His research interests are located in enterprise engineering, enterprise architecture, process mining, process compliance and business processes design.
What is your organisation’s role in QualiChain?
INESC-ID is one of the most dynamic research institutes in Portugal in the domains of information systems, data science, electronics and telecommunications. In close cooperation with its university partners, INESC-ID has emerged as an institution of reference, intensely involved in a number of high-visibility projects that have defined the national and international state of the art in these domains. Most of the senior researchers are professors from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), the engineering school from University of Lisbon. INESC-ID is involved in QualiChain Components Design and Development, and also in the pilot on staffing the public sector in Portugal, whereas it will further contribute in most of the project’s work packages.
How does QualiChain relate with your or your team’s background and interests?
We are interested in the R&D of new software solutions that integrate technology with business contexts, in specific the modelling, design, implementation and validation of enterprise information systems (EIS). An EIS encompasses management, organisation, strategy and technology and are represented using the principles offered by enterprise architecture (EA). From the EA body of knowledge, a business process is one example of concept that we work from multiple perspectives: ontological, modelling, simulation, implementation, operation and analytics.
Due to complexity and ambitious challenges posed, QualiChain demands this kind of holistic view to facilitate its management and evolution. We are dealing with cutting edge innovation, where some parts of it were never tested before in any other environment.
What is the novelty of QualiChain?
One of the novelties of QualiChain is the integration of Blockchain technology with real business cases to deliver a full solution to increase trustability in qualifications and certifications. This integration is of key importance for the success of the technological solution. While trust is a core concern raised by multiple stakeholders, BlockChain appears as an opportunity to research and deliver new solutions that are able to increase stakeholder’s confidence towards the digital economy. For that end, the responsibilities, expectations and competences of each stakeholder involved are elicited previously to the QualiChain implementation. The modelling and analysis theories and techniques from information systems are useful to disseminate, discuss and optimise the representations of this QualiChain integration.
Furthermore, the intelligent abilities will be delivering to QualiChain extended capabilities to observe, decide and act on the chain assets. For instance, the ability to automatically assess the trusted qualifications of a set of candidates for a job.
Which target groups can benefit from QualiChain?
The societal benefits of QualiChain are manifold. Considering the example of candidates for a job, it is interesting to notice that we are identifying a win-win situation between candidates and public and private companies that are willing to work with trusted assets. From certificate issuers point of view an enforcement in credibility is possible with immediate benefits. Other benefit is related with the small and medium sized certifications issued by many training facilities that do not have possibilities to invest in expensive IT solution. QualiChain can deliver a solution to be used by these many stakeholders.
How do you envision the future of decentralisation initiatives and technologies, such as the Blockchain?
Blockchain technology has an enormous potential that surpasses the already known cryptocurrencies solutions. As a decentralised transaction ledger, with no central authority and no single point of failure, its applications are endless. Some examples are the replacement of the classical supply chains of logistics for critical assets, such as, oil, food, energy; or the creation of new business applications founded in trust for financial markets or land registries.
From another perspective, deploying Blockchain in cloud-based environments raise a set of new challenges related with privacy, computation power and perish, that need to be addressed in near future. Finally, grounding in the usual technological evolution cycle of industries, other solutions will be proposed soon to improve the decentralisation. In that moment, retro-compatibility and interoperability will be core issues to coordinate companies using those different decentralised solutions.