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Eagle Genomics' Bioinformatics Survey Indicates Slow Uptake of Outsourcing, Cloud Computing

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Results from a survey of more than 100 bioinformaticists indicate that the community is reluctant to turn to outsourcing or cloud computing, preferring to handle all informatics task internally.

The survey, conducted by Cambridge, UK-based bioinformatics services firm Eagle Genomics, is intended to highlight current trends in the industry and predict its future direction, the company said.

Responses to this year's survey were similar in some respects to those from 2011 (BI 04/22/2011). They indicated, for example, that researchers by and large still rely on in-house computational resources and analysis tools with very little use of outsourced analysis, development, and computing resources. Furthermore, few respondents expect to deviate from that mode of operation in the future.

And while last year's responses seemed to suggest a growing interest in cluoud computing, the 2012 survey showed that it is still quite poorly adopted, with only 24 out of the 108 respondents reporting current use.

Cloud computing is still the fastest growing area in terms of future use, however, with 26 out of 108 respondents stating that they intend to use the approach, Eagle said.

Still on hardware, about 36 percent of researchers reported that they run their analysis on servers, approximately 34 percent said they use compute clusters, 25 percent on desktop computers, and about 6 percent reported using cloud infrastructure.

On the open source software side, the biggest issue identified by survey responses is the need for better integration between tools: 72 percent of respondents said they found it difficult to integrate open source tools with each other and with their internal data.

Also akin to last year's responses, most researchers are focused primarily on gene expression and genomic variation analysis, with attention likely shifting toward research in proteomics, systems biology, epigenetics, pathway analysis, comparative genomics, and metabolomics.

More details about the survey results are available here.

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