Business process automation in the cloud

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Michael Adams
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Dr Chun Ouyang
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


The ubiquity of cloud computing is shifting the deployment of Business Process Management Systems (BPMS) from traditional on-premise models to the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) paradigm, thus aiming to deliver Business Process Automation as a Service (BPAaaS) to organisations in the cloud. However, traditional BPMS are designed to serve a single organisation on premise but not for multiple organisations in a cloud environment. To support provision of BPAaaS, it is necessary to establish the design of a new paradigm to address the open issues and challenges imposed by the need of migrating BPMS into the cloud.

Research activities

The research activities below can be scoped to cater for different types of research student projects. Students will conduct these activities mainly in the School of Information Systems at QUT and may also have a chance to collaborate with researchers from our external academic partner in Sun Yat-sen University (one of the top five universities) in China.

  • Literature review on state-of-the-art approaches and techniques related to cloud computing for business process management and possibly workflow management.
  • Requirement analysis on user and service requirements for provision of BPAaaS (in the cloud)
  • Design of conceptual framework and architecture for deploying and evaluating cloud-based BPMS
  • Design of new algorithms and techniques for effective and efficient operations (e.g. workload distribution) in cloud-based BPMS
  • System implementation and evaluation of implemented prototypes in one or more open-source modern BPMS environments


  • A (generic) cloud-based BPMS architecture to support scalability and reliability
  • A performance evaluation framework for cloud-based BPMS and BPAaaS
  • An approach for measuring and/or predicting the workload for cloud-based BPMS
  • Workload distribution strategies for cloud-based BPMS

Skills and experience

  • Familiarity with the fields of cloud computing, service computing, and preferably process automation (or workflow management)
  • Reasonable writing skills
  • Problem-solving and logical thinking capabilities
  • Computer programming skills


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor/s for more information.