The OSI stack for networking should have Layers 8 & 9 added to it: context & purpose. That’s where the value is going.
The underlying thought seems to be applicable to other areas, including service design, enterprise / business / solution architecture and software development.
Tom Graves’ describes several layers of abstraction in his service-centric view of the shared enterprise, starting with the enterprise layer, which defines purpose, and the scope layer, which defines context.
When describing a software service, for example, I typically begin by describing its intent and depicting the service in its context (both static and dynamic).
So, when faced with a new concept or a new challenge, one of the simplest ways to start adding value is asking two questions:
- In what context?
- For what purpose?