This whitepaper discusses why integrating modern systems requires a new modular, network-centric approach that relies only on standard APIs and protocols, provides stronger information-management services, and avoids historical problems of integrating complex, heterogeneous systems. The paper focuses on "real-world" systems, that is, systems that interact with the external physical world and must live within the constraints imposed by real-world physics. Examples of these include air-traffic control systems, real-time stock trading, command and control (C2) systems, Unmanned Vehicles, Robotic and Vetronics, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.