Systematic improvement in ocean modelling and prediction systems over the past several decades has resulted from several concurrent factors. The first of these has been a sustained increase in computational power, as summarized in Moore's Law, without which much of this recent progress would not have been possible. Despite the limits imposed by existing computer hardware, however, significant accruals in system performance over the years have been achieved through novel innovations in system software, specifically the equations used to represent the temporal evolution of the oceanic state as well as the numerical solution procedures employed to solve them. Here, we review several recent approaches to system design that extend our capability to deal accurately with the multiple time and space scales characteristic of oceanic motion. The first two are methods designed to allow flexible and affordable enhancement in spatial resolution within targeted regions, relying on either a set of nested structured grids or, alternatively, a single unstructured grid. Finally, spatial discretization of the continuous equations necessarily omits finer, subgrid-scale processes whose effects on the resolved scales of motion cannot be neglected. We conclude with a discussion of the possibility of introducing subgrid-scale parameterizations to reflect the influences of unresolved processes.