The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

#1389 Smart Systems change request pending

Include 'Smart Systems' in the SFIA theme, 'Artificial intelligence and machine learning skills'.

In the SFIA theme, 'Artificial intelligence and machine learning skills' include review of 'Smart Systems'.

Alternatively consider 'Smart Systems' as a separate new Skill.

Significant information and articles on the WWW about Smart Systems, including the Wiki definition of 'Smart Systems'.

Current status of this request: pending

What we decided

RESD for SFIA 8 references intelligent systems.

We will retain this change request (as deferred) so that we can keep smart systems under review and decide if additional skills, guidance notes etc are required.

  • Can fit with the review of Systems engineering also.

What we changed

updated RESD guidance notes to reference intelligent systems.

Ian Seward (General Manager)
Mar 12, 2021 03:21 PM

Not sure: But I think there is something in this ... Think we need to look at this one in the context of systems building - mind you 'Smart' is a fashionable word!

Taking the inspiration from Wiki as you suggest ... "Smart systems incorporate functions of sensing, actuation, and control in order to describe and analyze a situation, and make decisions based on the available data in a predictive or adaptive manner, thereby performing smart actions. In most cases the “smartness” of the system can be attributed to autonomous operation based on closed loop control, energy efficiency, and networking capabilities".

There has been quite a large community, the Systems and Software Engineering community, who for at least the last 40+ years that have been building systems (hardware, software and operators), controlling dedicated hardware (sensors and actuators) with software (extremely high integrity, high reliability and graceful degradation for fail-safe, very tight time constraints, processing data to determine actions (decision making), predict future conditions and test for it and adapt and generally use some closed loop control. Generally this type of work need specialist domain knowledge and specialist engineering application integrating - typically the preserve (but not exclusively) of the Real-time embedded systems engineers ...

Perhaps RESD needs to look to incorporate this at this stage as typically this type of work also requires the use of specialist development equipment, specialist test equipment and working much closer to the silicon than in traditional IT activities.

The question might be ... what are the core components of 'Smart' of are there engineers building 'smart systems' - so bringing together DESN, HWDE, SWDN, RESD, SFEN, HSIN, AI and ML (certainly) and of course TEST (but more specifically much more intensive VV&T techniques) and of course QUAS to ensure that appropriate QC has been carried out ...

Perhaps it might be appropriate to include the fashionable 'smart' into guidance notes as wiki has come up with Smart systems perform smart actions ... and more description might be necessary.

Would welcome some input from younger folks working in this area ...

Jonathan Oliver
Mar 14, 2021 02:40 PM

I have experience building passive and active RFID based smart systems where the reading of a tag actuates a relay - controlling for instance a door lock (access control mechanism) or alarm (in a manufacturing warehouse when the software system detected an item in an incorrect location).

Whilst there is a view that these systems are "smart", I do not feel there are sufficient distinct activities that could be well described at levels to warrant a new separate skill. Such systems are produced by a combination of systems engineering, coupled with hardware design, embedded device development and software services, which are covered by existing skills.

We could consider addition of a phrase incorporating smart systems development in an existing skill such as RESD:
"The architecture, design and development of reliable real time software, operating systems, tools, embedded and smart systems..."

If there is sufficient evidence of usage, a SFIA view covering the key skills related to Smart Systems development would be of benefit to practitioners.