Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, explains how web applications will be built in the future. His point is twofold. The bad news is that expectations for good web applications are sky high. It has to have rich media, available on multiple devices, very scalable, social networking and that is just the beginning. The good news is that a lot of this can be done by services that are readily available on the web, with reasonable usage based pricing.
For example, at the next web’s conference www.thenextweb.com a service called www.ecwid.com was showcased that gives your site a shopping cart, with all payment features. It integrates in minutes. Countless other services exist.
As for scalable hosting, there is hardly a need for dedicated hosting these days. Dedicated hosting does not scale. You can use cloud based virtual hosting, such as Amazon’s EC2, or any Virtual Private Hosting, but that is just a start. You should move towards content distribution networks and scalable programming platforms. Examples of these include Azure for Microsoft based software, Google App Engine, or Heroku (for Ruby on Rails applications).
So for your next (or even current) project, consider what you do not have to do yourselves.