I would expect that with the cloud approach that some (maybe many) will be tempted to shotgun solutions instead of doing the hard analysis of the preliminary runs to determine the best course. I would also share the concerns regarding the IP being sent off site. What guarantees will be in place from the cloud computing provider that my IP/data base won't get accessed by others? I am of course ignoring the entire military design community - I can't imagine any secret/top secret design being run in the clouds.. That said, how would the business side work? There are a number of companies that make a lot of money selling licenses, how would cloud licenses be "shared"? I can also see the time when either compute time or licenses used time will be the basis for billing. I can only imagine what the project manager will say when the bill comes in at the end of the month/quarter or project..
If you develop your FPGA designs with the LabVIEW FPGA Module, there is an option to enable builds in the cloud. This allows, among other things, the fast iterative development cycles you mentioned here. You can tweak multiple build configurations and run them all in parallel on as many "cloud compute resources" as you are willing to pay for.