Gordon spoke to the issue of centralized management of identity in a decentralized infrastructure. What Gordon means by centralized management, it seems, is governance, oversight, and monitoring. In response to a question from the audience, he clarifies that he's not looking for go back to the days of the mainframe, but finding a way to be effective and efficient in a decentralized architecture.
There is tremendous savings in centralizing these services, but more important are issues like regulatory compliance. Policies and auditing have to be shown to be consistent with the processes you said you put in place.