Genome sequences from many organisms, including humans, have been completed, and high-throughput analyses have produced burgeoning volumes of 'omics' data. Bioinformatics is crucial for the management and analysis of such data and is increasingly used to accelerate progress in a wide variety of large-scale and object-specific functional analyses. Refined algorithms enable biotechnologists to follow 'computer-aided strategies' based on experiments driven by high-confidence predictions. In order to address compound problems, current efforts in immuno-informatics and reverse vaccinology are aimed at developing and tuning integrative approaches and user-friendly, automated bioinformatics environments. This will herald a move to 'computer-aided biotechnology': smart projects in which time-consuming and expensive large-scale experimental approaches are progressively replaced by prediction-driven investigations.