Future-proof systems

There is a strong need to design systems that allow for easy of change and upgrade during its operational life, as many business revenue models are based on such capability. A system is considered future-proof when it anticipates future user needs, so that action can be taken to minimize possible negative consequences. Future proof systems allow for the accommodation of changing application needs, the ability to incorporate additional functionality, extend connectivity and incorporate new technology or components.

Future-proof system designs use architectural principles, rules and patterns that allow for progressive (functional and technical) enhancements and emphasize systematic reuse of design assets. Such designs are based upon platforms of design components or libraries of compatible hardware and software virtual component, intended to maximize operational upgrades and thereby reduce investment risk and prolong a system’s useful economical life.

Being future-proof is a system property that relates strongly to how a system is designed and therefore, as a matter of fact, to the design-time methods and techniques being deployed. The technology challenges associated to these need are huge.

The focus of the TNO-ESI research programme here includes methods and techniques for re-use of design assets, such as for system modularization, component and object-based architectures, run-time techniques, and methods for system configuration, maintenance and upgrade.