During the past two decades, many enterprises have transformed from “Businesses facilitated by IT” to the paradigm where “Business is IT”. Today, enterprises not only relay on IT to obtain and deliver insightful, timely, and accurate information for managing their operations, but also to provide competitive differentiation, to support business agility and growth, and to improve profitability. Because of this, most enterprises rely on vast, complex, and intertwined information technology (IT) plants—consisting of large numbers of heterogeneous, high-capacity computing, communication, and storage systems as well as wide-range of software components. Unfortunately, the growing complexity of these IT plants is becoming a key obstacle in sustaining this paradigm. In fact, addressing the complexity of large IT systems has been identified as a grand challenge in computing.

We believe that continuous evolution is a key contributor to this complexity. Unlike traditional engineering artefacts that don’t change much over time, IT plants evolve continuously to accommodate new software and hardware technologies, application functionalities, user requirements, as well as changes in operating conditions (workload, faults, etc.).

The main objective of this R&D area at SRL is to conquer this complexity by developing methodologies and tools to design simple yet efficient systems and to manage system evolution. These methodologies and tools will facilitate reasoning about various system properties—correctness, security, privacy, scalability, performance, availability, and reliability—even in the presence of evolution.

This long-term R&D area currently involves the following activities: