Nah, I'm not going to tell you here ... that is the title of a talk I will give in Indianapolis on December 1st, at the CloudCom conference. But here's the abstract:
We've all heard about how on-demand computing and storage will transform scientific practice. But by focusing on resources alone, we're missing the real benefit of the large-scale outsourcing and consequent economies of scale that cloud is about. The biggest IT challenge facing science today is not volume but complexity. Sure, terabytes demand new storage and computing solutions. But they're cheap. It is establishing and operating the processes required to collect, manage, analyze, share, archive, etc., that data that is taking all of our time and killing creativity. And that's where outsourcing can be transformative. An entrepreneur can run a small business from a coffee shop, outsourcing essentially every business function to a software-as-a-service provider--accounting, payroll, customer relationship management, the works. Why can't a young researcher run a research lab from a coffee shop? For that to happen, we need to make it easy for providers to develop "apps" that encapsulate useful capabilities and for researchers to discover, customize, and apply these "apps" in their work. The effect, I will argue, will be a dramatic acceleration of discovery.