Nicholas Carr, building on posts from Jeff Kaplan and Phil Wainewright, predicts that 2008 will be a breakout year for software as a service (SaaS) and utility computing, and cites the ongoing expansion of data center infrastructure as a key enabler:
A lot of suppliers have been investing a lot of capital into constructing utility data centers over the past couple of years, and a good deal of that new capacity has either come online recently or will come online during the course of this year (including Microsoft's huge Chicago plant, which is scheduled to open in April). It's important to remember that we're still in the build-out phase of the utility infrastructure and that supply-side capacity will be as essential as user demand in pushing the model forward. Capacity, as well as demand, should expand significantly over the next 12 months.
Nick writes more on this topic in his new book, The Big Switch. We'll have more about Nick's book when it debuts Monday.