The onset of technologically advanced software and hardware platforms for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries has resulted in more than a few drug manufacturers enlisting the talents of information technology professionals. Systems management issues between various protocols as well as the operating system functionality of cutting edge software have created an atmosphere where laboratory technicians spend a large portion of their time managing biotechnology infrastructures. While many larger firms already have information technology personnel that work exclusively on corporate related networks, few if any were called upon to bridge the gap between scientific software and traditional hardware. Most software manufacturers who offer genetic modeling or chemical composition software rarely consider the cross platform restrictions of their products, hence the need for well trained information technology professionals.
Throwing another wrench into the works is the development and widespread use of open source software. Open source software protocols are expansive and easily altered by nature. Many open source software developments carry no licensing restrictions. While the software itself can be extremely beneficial to biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms, the havoc it can wreak on hardware systems leaves much to be desired. While information technology professionals aren't likely to write or alter code for unilateral workability, they can be called upon to structure data transfers between open sources programs that will allow the information garnered from one to be placed into another without damage to the overall system.
Many educational providers are starting to offer IT degree programs dedicated to information technology development for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. These programs train information technology personnel for the industry specific needs that often arise when dealing with cross platform data evaluation systems. As the complexities of software increase, so likely will the need for qualified IT professionals to make it run smoothly. Those who are already firmly entrenched in the IT world as well as those who plan to make a career of IT would do well to pay attention to the growing need for specialized technical personnel in this expanding market.
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