I want to congratulate Andy on a most thought provoking post – The Enabling Layer; rapid change above and cost savings below.
And I want to see if we can continue this thinking in a post and progess a little further.
We know that a difference today than with the last power to the user cycle is that connectivity is the default, not the exception, and that as a result we are seeing genuine commoditisation in IT as it shifts out of a product based economy into a service based economy. To put it plainly, SaaS is indeed on the march.
And so I wonder if the Enabling Layer already exists – that is – the enabling services themselves are already out there that business and government can use – and that in fact, trying to develop one’s own in the traditional sense by buying and then developing on products behind the corporate firewall not only adds expense, but inhibits business operations and compliance.
As security – in its broadest sense of confidentiality, integrity and availability – seems to be at the heart of the matter – perhaps it’s worth reflecting on what the Jericho Forum’s White Paper on the business case for de-perimeterisation has to say:
‘Computing history can be defined in terms of increasing connectivity over time, starting from no connectivity and developing to the restricted connectivity we currently have today, with islands of corporate connectivity behind their managed perimeter.
The current perimeterised architecture is perfectly adequate for an organisation that simply wants to operate inside its own controlled environment, with e-mail to the outside world. Unfortunately this organisation ceased to exist ten years ago as business mandated wider connectivity; yet most businesses continue to use an architecture adapted from that era thereby exposing themselves to an increasing and often unwise risk.
Worst still, many business and IT leaders, who rightly understand that good security is mandatory to doing business in the 21st century, have become victim to the perpetuated myth that good security starts (and in many cases ends) with a hardened perimeter, and also the fallacy that a hardened perimeter is required by whichever audit regimes they are subject to.
It is essential that businesses and IT leaders relinquish this preconception, and understand what their businesses would be able to achieve if the perimeter was not there inhibiting innovation, wide collaborative working, expansion and speed to market.’

This is pretty unambiguous stuff.
A little while ago I found myself inspired by Chris Anderson’s blog on the topic of living on the Web which led to the formulation of ‘White Wire Strategy
And with hindsight, perhaps this thinking didn’t go far enough.
So, I’m with Andy, The Enabling Layer is needed, and I wonder if the concepts and services are already out there – and that by starting with the White Wire first, we’ll discover just how to go about it.