At the Eagle Genomics Symposium on Tuesday, our Technical Director Will Spooner presented preliminary results from the survey we ran in parallel with the registration process. Will is going to post a full analysis on this blog soon, but for now here are the key points he picked out as important during his summary at the symposium.
Data integration is the biggest current technology concern. 60% of respondents said it was already something they were working on. The next biggest area was NGS, with an average of 40% saying they were already working on it, and a further 25% saying they would be in the near future. Barely 25% of people said they were currently working on microarray data, and only about 15% on proteomics and mass spec, with both of these fields showing not much anticipated future work either (when compared to the scale of interest in NGS).
When it comes to delivering these analyses, 90% do it on in-house hardware, with 25% including some element of cloud - but a whopping additional 40% intend to use the cloud in the future, meaning that cloud is becoming established as a serious competitor to in-house data centres. Most people do not use and do not plan to use the third option of outsourced computing, e.g. renting time on a third-party cluster.
75% prefer to do their software development work in-house and the stats show that this is not expected to change significantly. The same goes for doing data analysis in-house vs. outsourcing it, although there was a slight preference for outsourcing development over analysis.
The survey did prove one thing we already knew - everyone loves open-source bioinformatics! 75% currently use it, with only 35% currently using commercial solutions. Users of both groups of software didn't perceive any likely change, which suggests that open-source bioinformatics software could account for up to 66% of the bioinformatics software market by user base.
All in all, the strongest message is that people are into the cloud, data integration, and NGS, which just happen to be Eagle's core skills. We see a clear niche here for helping people working in these areas and the survey confirms that whilst the old-fashioned model of in-house hardware and developers is still very much entrenched, change is on the horizon.
Exciting times! I'm sure Will will have plenty more to say and interesting observations to make when he publishes the full results.