This paper is an analysis by NESSI about the role of software and services technologies for future Smart Networks and Services (SNS), which is one of the proposed Partnerships in Horizon Europe.

Software and service-based software design principles are already fundamental technologies for 5G systems: key concepts of 5G such as network slicing are based on cloud and Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies, and the design of the 5G core network follow a service-oriented approach. Building on 5G, the SNS proposal aims to develop a ‘scalable, robust, secured, distributed, high-performance, energy-efficient and environment-neutral ubiquitous digital infrastructure’. This future digital infrastructure is considered essential for enabling the digital transformation of society and promoting businessesinnovation in areas such as Industry 4.0/5.0, Smart Energy, Smart Cities, Smart Healthcare, etc. Future digital services will heavily rely on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning as enabling technologies. Thus, SNS will face the softwarerelated challenges described in the NESSI position papers ‘Software and the Next Generation Internet’ and ‘Software and Artificial Intelligence’.

These challenges stem from the need for:

  • new, more powerful orchestration models, architectures and abstractions for highly distributed, heterogeneous and multi-stakeholder infrastructures and resources;
  • new business models for monetizing SNS and for controlling environmental and social impacts, making SNS applications sustainable and justifying investment in infrastructure;
  • management of complexity in the presence of dynamically changing and uncertain future requirements arising from and addressed by using self-adaptation powered by artificial intelligence;
  • building trust in applications and services with high levels of security and dependability, preventing manipulation of humans by SNS technologies, and protecting critical services and sensitive data;
  • new methodologies for software and information systems engineering, maintaining productivity while addressing increased complexity and (in some cases) criticality, and balancing the need for agility with the need for consolidation and optimisation in the use of resources; and
  • Incorporating new methods combining software engineering and data science approaches to ensure quality, performance and cost-efficiency for software incorporating AI algorithms.

We recommend research topics on software and services be included in the Horizon Europe work programme
to address these challenges, without which the success of Smart Networks and Services may be in doubt.

Read the paper here: Software and Smart Networks and Services Position Paper

Share this article