On the flight back from Honolulu I sat next to a man who is involved with the ‘design’ and development of new varieties of fruit, especially apples, pears and cherries. It was fascinating to hear about the projects he runs, and especially at the time it takes from an idea to revenue stream! Because a tree must grow for about 3 – 4 years before it starts bearing fruit, it will take on average about 10 years to find out if your idea for the new variety works or not. (does this apple really give the farmer more crops? Does this pear tree really resist frost during harvest etc.)
WOW – imagine this in the IT industry… your client asks you to deliver a solution / system and your reply is: Sure, we will start a project and in 11 years we’ll know if it works or not!!! This is unimaginable in our industry…. 11 years is, like.. FOREVER!
We go the exact opposite: Cloud computing gives you the opportunity to test ideas immediately! You want to see how things work if we have 20 Terabytes in storage extra? Let’s add this to Amazon S3 and see what happens.. it’s pretty instantaneously.
Also consider budgeting and funding: how will you raise funds when the project will take 11 years before it MAY give a return??? This long term planning and budgeting is foreign to most IT organizations. Sure, we work on 3 – 5 year plans but usually on 1 – 2 year budgets. And projects that run for more than 18 months usually don’t deliver on the deliverables, time-frame or allocated budget. Imagine an 11 year project?!
Nope – I’d stick with Cloud Computing storage and processing opportunities. It’s a lot less risky and easier to manage. At least the planning horizon is in this decade!