Recent decades have been characterized by a deep penetration of information communication technologies into our everyday life. It’s hard to imagine an area of human activity which ICTs have not entered and changed yet. This success is partly caused by developments and studies in the area of Systems Research. High-performance hardware and software complexes, fault tolerant systems and networks around people – all these are the object and the result of studies in the area of Systems Research.
Over the past few decades several independent research areas in the area of Systems Research were formed, such as high-performance computing systems, operating systems, embedded systems, etc. Problems associated with building such systems, their properties, problems related to aspects of system operation (performance, security) are considered within the scope of these areas. At the same time many of these studies are directly related to real needs of market and society.
Society and market have changed significantly over the past few decades. New markets associated with intensive distribution of mobile devices, active introduction of mobile services and cloud computing emerged. All these generate requests for new architectural solutions improving performance and fault tolerance of systems. In addition, emergence of an intelligent infrastructure and increase in human-machine communications also significantly change both the market of devices and society. What kind of current and future research in the area of Systems Research may have a greater impact on society?
In addition, basic technologies on which developments of the past few decades were based are also on the edge of changing. Achievement of DRAM cells minimum size limits and development of persistent storage technologies allow us to rethink classic architectures based on separation of internal storage and media. 3D chips will allow to build miniature systems on chip (SoC) and photonics will be able to increase the speed of data transmission significantly. Moreover, achievement of 10-7nm topologies also provides new opportunities for Systems Research, since these dimensions require special techniques, from the point of view of hardware and software, to overcome the DarkSilicon problem - impossibility of simultaneous operation of SoC physical components due to overheating. What kind of research in the field of Systems Research is required for new hardware technologies and solutions?
Besides social and technological challenges Systems Research, being an independent research discipline, is capable of creating technologies generating independent markets as a consequence. For example, at the end of the 70th the virtualization concept as a result became a key-enabling technology for the cloud computing industry and services. Can Systems Research offer similar technologies, new research areas within which new technologies can emerge?
These three questions are a part of a more general question - What is the future of Systems Research? To answer this and other questions related to the future of the scientific discipline we used the tool designed to construct and study the future - foresight methodology.
The foresight is the process involved in systematical attempts to look into the long-term future of science, technology, economy and society for the purpose to identify the areas of strategic research and emergence of generic technologies likely to yield the greatest economic and social benefits (Martin 1995). We used the foresight as a tool to study and construct the future, since we are interested not just in research topics, scientific problems and general trends, but also in the attitude and impact of the scientific discipline on different components of life which include society, scientific disciplines, and different technologies.