Product: Management and Development
Product: Management and Development
Research Article

Value of concept of operations analysis for digital transformation using digital twins

Joana Lacerda da Fonseca Pinto Cardoso, Eric Scott Rebentisch, Donna Hagstrom Rhodes, António Lucas Soares

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Structured sociotechnical approaches are increasingly important to digital transformation given digital technology not only changes the way companies operate, but also brings to light new business strategies. Indeed, companies have ramped up operational data collection opportunities and adopted digital practices to facilitate new flows of design information, enabling teams to interoperate in ways that might lead to better system performance. More structured approaches are needed to overcome challenges faced in digital transformation, as present efforts are often rather ad-hoc and poorly structured. Such approaches better enable tying transformation to the organization’s strategic objectives, and leverage operational strengths while mitigating limitations. As digital transformation occurs under certain sociotechnical contexts and with specific purposes, success can critically depend on the ability to unambiguously describe this context and the intended transformation as new operational scenarios. This paper discusses digital transformation using digital twins as a transdisciplinary challenge, presents a sociotechnical system analysis framework for digital twins, and offers insight on the value of applying an existing method called Concept of Operations Analysis, producing operational scenarios. Our ongoing work shows that the aforementioned method may accelerate the sociotechnical system redesign cycle and generate actionable decisions aligned with strategic goals and operational strengths and limitations.


digital transformation, digital twins, sociotechnical systems.


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