CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 65

ow do you get creative and independent
people, who focus on their individual
projects, to accept and contribute to a
shared IT ecosystem? How do you get
them to collaborate effectively in this
environment – one of the world’s largest
genome sequencing centers, which generates vast quantities of data? Furthermore, how do you then
extend this collaboration to engage a world-wide network
of researchers and other partners?
At The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the IT organization faces such questions every day while managing 10
petabytes of data and working to transform the practice of
IT management in the service of transforming medicine.

What is The Broad?
The Broad Institute was founded on the belief that meeting the challenges of biomedicine requires bringing
together world-class expertise across many disciplines,
with exceptional and creative scientists and unprecedented technological resources. Established in 2003 to
facilitate and accelerate collaboration among scientists at
MIT, Harvard and Harvard-affiliated hospitals, this
deeply collaborative community includes more than 150
faculty members, 1,500+ scientists and a rapidly growing
number of international collaborations, including over
100 projects across more than 40 countries. It would be
right to call the Institute a “human cloud” of scientific
collaboration.
The work of the Institute is varied and is frequently in the
news. The Institute has been one of the three major
participants in the Human Genome Project. Other recent
projects include the 1000 Genome Project and The Cancer
Genome Atlas – using the tools and knowledge gained
from the sequencing of the human genome in order to
better understand human health and improve disease
diagnosis and treatment.
The Institute was also a part of the team of organizations
that examined the genome of Steve Jobs before he died, as
revealed in the recent biography by Walter Isaacson. This
work enabled the refinement of targeted treatments, aimed
at defective molecular pathways associated with Jobs’
illness.
The Broad’s work involves massive amounts of data. We
recently surpassed the 10 petabyte level – 10 million
gigabytes – in terms of our storage capacity, and our needs
will soon outgrow that. Combine that with a dispersed,
world-wide network of independent-minded researchers,
and you have a challenge that requires taking collaboration to the next level.

The “Collaboration Experience”
Creating an environment infused with the idea and reality
of collaboration is what our IT group of about 50 people is
actively working towards. This goal is reflected in our

vision statement: “To create the best collaboration experience to accelerate ground-breaking science that transforms medicine.”
At the same time, this also raises a number of questions
we are trying to answer. How do researchers work with
the administrative side to get the resources they need for
the research? How do scientists collaborate among themselves? How does the information flow among scientists?
How do researchers collaborate with scientists at other
organizations? How do scientists work with IT? In short,
how do we create a “psychologically appealing collaboration experience” that will attract participation and
ultimately help capture knowledge, make discoveries and
transform medicine?
Everything we do in IT is geared towards supporting this
vision of facilitating the best collaboration experience. It
is extremely important that we create a sense of engagement and facilitate interactions and communications, both
physical and virtual.

Creating Collaboration Spaces
To collaborate, people have to interact. We ensure there
are convenient and attractive physical places that encourage interaction. Of course, there are formal spaces, such as
offices and conference rooms. But we also support an
increasing number of informal break-out or dining areas,
where individuals convene prior, after, or instead of meeting in formal meeting places.
Collaboration spaces sometimes take the form of an event.
For example, I hold a monthly “IT JAM” – short for “Just
Another Meeting” – as in JAK, or “Just Another Kinase”
(the nickname originally given to a certain family of
enzymes by researchers who identified them in a discovery that advanced the search for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases). In IT JAM, we invite IT
people from Biogen Idec, Amgen, Novartis, Whitehead,
Harvard, MIT and other organizations in the Boston area.
Depending on the topic, we nearly always get a good
turnout. The aim is to create a local network that promotes
the sharing of tips and experience-based knowledge –
“this is how we do it, this is how you do it” – in a
non-competitive, open-innovation manner.

We recently surpassed the 10-petabyte
level – that’s 10 million gigabytes – in
terms of our storage capacity, and our
needs will soon outgrow that. Combine
that with a dispersed, worldwide network
of independent-minded researchers, and
you have a challenge that requires taking
collaboration to the next level.

CIO Straight Talk //

65



CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2

CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2
Contents
So What Do CIOs Want
Innovation at the Periphery
The CIO as Thought Leader
Career Move: From Managing Technology to Managing Change
Every CIO is in the Information Business
Analytics and Decision Making
Putting IT at the Center of the Customer Experience
Pick n Pay Focuses on Delivering Value to Customers
Bringing "Lean" to IT
Whither the Cloud in a Stormy IT Enviroment?
Management by Driving a Stake in the Ground
From Data Processing to Orchestrating Knowledge
Extreme Collaboration
Enterprise Mobility: Delivering the Connected Customer Experience
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Cover2
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 5
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - So What Do CIOs Want
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 7
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 8
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 9
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 10
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 11
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 12
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 13
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 14
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 15
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 16
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 17
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Innovation at the Periphery
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 19
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 20
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 21
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - The CIO as Thought Leader
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 23
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 24
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 25
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Career Move: From Managing Technology to Managing Change
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 27
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 28
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 29
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Every CIO is in the Information Business
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 31
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 32
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 33
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Analytics and Decision Making
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 35
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 36
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 37
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 38
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 39
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Putting IT at the Center of the Customer Experience
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 41
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 42
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Pick n Pay Focuses on Delivering Value to Customers
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 44
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 45
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 46
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Bringing "Lean" to IT
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 48
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 49
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 50
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Whither the Cloud in a Stormy IT Enviroment?
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 52
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 53
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 54
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 55
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Management by Driving a Stake in the Ground
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 57
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 58
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - From Data Processing to Orchestrating Knowledge
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 60
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 61
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Extreme Collaboration
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 63
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 64
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 65
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Enterprise Mobility: Delivering the Connected Customer Experience
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 67
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 68
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 69
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 70
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 71
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 72
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 73
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 74
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Cover3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Cover4
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