CNet reports today on the latest article by Nicholas Carr (author of IT Doesn't Matter) where he describes how companies will move from treating IT as an asset they own to a service/utility they rent.  He cites that virtualization, grid computing and web services are the three components that are making this possible. 

CNet reports:

"The history of the commercial application of IT has been characterized by astounding leaps, but nothing that has come before--not even the introduction of the personal computer or the opening of the Internet--will match the upheaval that lies just over the horizon," Carr predicts in a summary of his next work, "The End of Corporate Computing."

The net result of all this is there will be utility computing providers, companies that service them with equipment and software, and companies that deliver network bandwidth. 

I remember the time when ASPs were going to be the next big thing (so big in fact that I started a company to deliver software services via an ASP model) but they never really won over the hearts of corporate IT because the management teams really wanted to control the assets -- both tangible and intangible.

So given the huge issues recently with privacy breaches, with concerns about security in offshore operations, is Nicholas on target?  Will people really trust utilty computing providers?  Or might they look at them as potentially a way to off load the risk associated with running their own IT shops?