Beyond the Enterprise

William Heath, his perceptions heightened by the governmental identity discussion going on in the UK, makes an interesting comment about Jamie Lewis’ post on architectural principles:

It's a thoughtful contribution from Jamie. I'd just observe that he talks of principles based on “the values, organizational culture, and business goals of the enterprise”. That's a logical way to approach business, which is important when you're selling something to earn a living. And no-one is better at business than the US IT industry.

But there's far more to life than business. The identity architecture proposed for the UK will become a defining part of the architecture for social, civil and political life. It will affect how we feel about ourselves, others and the state as well as how well the economy works and our role as consumers in it.

So, Jamie, can we consciously broaden the basis you use for “Reference Architecture” to include the full panoply of the human condition. As we discuss the Laws let us remember we need principles that work for all. Imagine having to explain or justify them to artists, religious leaders, people caring for the needy or elderly . It doesnt make it easier, but that's the scale of the problem we face. If anyone doubts this please look at what is happening in the UK

William is right – to be successful for anyone, the identity system must embrace and provide benefit to everyone – implying great diversity. This in turn means we need architectural principles that reach well beyond the enterprise. I know Jamie will be the first to agree, so it will be interesting to see if he thinks he has already built counterbalancing recognition for digital life of the consumer into his reference architecture.

Published by

Kim Cameron

Work on identity.