Some future trends and implications for systems and software engineering processes



In response to the increasing criticality of software within systems and the increasing demands being put onto 21st century systems, systems and software engineering processes will evolve significantly over the next two decades. This paper identifies eight relatively surprise-free trends—the increasing interaction of software engineering and systems engineering; increased emphasis on users and end value; increased emphasis on systems and software dependability; increasingly rapid change; increasing global connectivity and need for systems to interoperate; increasingly complex systems of systems; increasing needs for COTS, reuse, and legacy systems and software integration; and computational plenty. It also identifies two “wild card” trends: increasing software autonomy and combinations of biology and computing. It then discusses the likely influences of these trends on systems and software engineering processes between now and 2025, and presents an emerging scalable spiral process model for coping with the resulting challenges and opportunities of developing 21st century software-intensive systems and systems of systems. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Syst Eng 9: 1–19, 2006