The GTC project is in charge of the construction of an optical/IR 10-meter class telescope at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in Canary Islands. The GTC control system (GCS) will be responsible for the management and operation of the telescope, including its instrumentation. Its conceptual design has been completed in summer 1997. The continuous and rapid development of hardware, software and communications technology has permitted a greater complexity in control systems. In their turn, the development of active and adaptive optics, the new methods of optimizing available observing time and the continuous development programs to maintain telescope competitiveness present new challenges in the design of control systems. During its life-cycles, the GCS will be subject to continuous changes brought about by different factors, such as the advent of new technologies, the evolution of the requirements, the development of new instruments and fault correction. These factors must be taken on board with the minimum possible impact, not only on the project but also on the availability of the GTC once it enters into operation. This will only be possible through the selection and planning of an adequate technological framework that enables these changes to be assimilated throughout the life-cycle of the telescope. In this presentation the fundamental aspects of this framework along the current status of the control system design are outlined.