IBM sensing the future

I.B.M. Looks to Genetics to Map a New Business
IBM now has 150 PhDs on their life sciences division staff, and they’re not computer jocks. Big Blue jumped into life science about 5 or 6 years ago. They know that life science–from research to medicine to perhaps personal health care–will be one of biggest phenomena and most lucrative markets of the future.

Some of the biggest computing problems–and money making opportunities–are in biology, pharmacogenomics, proteomics and medicine. They have also learned that one of the biggest turn-offs to the science community is some marketing slick who promises a “total enterprise solution.” I’ve heard that directly from scientists.

And there’s a reciprocity to this: scientists are just as eager to get their hands on powerful, low-cost computing resources and appropriate software. Life science is now a multi-disciplinary field dependent upon massive databases and increasingly powerful modeling applications.

So who would have thought of IBM as a life sciences company a decade ago? The change is a reflection of how central the idea “life as information” has become in life science.