Developing and Implementing a Cyber Technologies Program for Biomedical Research
This paper and presentation describes concepts, development and implementation of an innovative and multi-faceted approach to managing complex information issues for a major US government biomedical research agency (NIAID). From the year 2000, NIAID initiatives included broadened, expanded, and intensifying research on emerging/re-emerging diseases, biodefense, AIDS, vaccines, and international program initiatives. Traditional, specialist-based support by information technologists was inadequate and did not provide interdisciplinary knowledge\skill resources necessary to cope with rapidly growing and complex challenges. To develop the needed capability, the Chief Information Officer's key staff worked to design a multi/interdisciplinary program, which was named "The Cyber Technologies Program." This innovative, integrated information management program includes biomedical specialties, governance, management sciences, computer sciences, software development, telecommunications, bioinformatics and systems engineering. Through progressive techniques of consolidation, integration, and optimization, a new structural cybernetics approach greatly enhanced general and scientific technologies support and significantly helped in management of rapid growth, organizational dynamics, and professional development. Cyber Technologies emphasizes a high-performance and built-to-last organization and methodology with benefits of life-cycle planning, adaptive operations, and cost-beneficial investments into human capital and technology. This paper tells how it was done, notes specific results, and gives lessons-learned that will be useful to both researchers and practitioners.
Keywords: Information Technology, Cybernetics, Organizational Development, Inter-Disciplinary Management, Biomedical Research
E. Joseph Bangiolo
Special Volunteer, Office of Cyber Infrastructure and Computational Biology
Dr. Laurence Wolfe
President, Management and Information Technology Consulting Group LLC