Nick Carr, author of a rather controversial paper a while back that questioned whether IT was necessary,
interviewed recently with The Register
about the possibilities of "Utility Computing"--that is, outsourcing the computing requirements of the business to other firms. He uses the analogy of the transition from in-house to grid-based power generation at the turn of the last century and its effects on businesses--the issues of reliability, security, et al., which are applicable in similar ways to data. Regulatory considerations aside, what would a company need to provide in terms of data security to entice other companies to outsource their data processing functions to them?