While discussing the ultimate value of Enterprise Architecture in my last post Why Companies Do Need Enterprise Architecture at Downturn? I have not defined the term "Enterprise Architecture". A variety of definitions do exist and some people claim that this is a sign of infancy of the subject. However look at the descriptions of EA I managed to gather and consider yourself whether they point to totally different directions or they have a lot in common.
1. ANSI/IEEE Std 1471-2000: “The fundamental organization of a system, embodied in its components, their relationships to each other and the environment, and the principles governing its design and evolution.”
2. Cap Gemini: “Enterprise Architecture is the description and visualization of the structure of a given area of contemplation, its elements and their collaborations and interrelations links vision, strategy and feasibility, focusing on usability durability and effectiveness. Architecture enables construction, defining principles, rules, standards and guidelines, expressing and communicating a vision”
3. Forrester, Gene Leganza, 2001: “Enterprise architecture consists of the vision, principles and standards that guide the purchase and deployment of technology within an enterprise”
4. Gartner Group: “Enterprise architecture (EA) is the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating, and improving the key principles and models that describe the enterprise’s future state and enable its evolution.”
5. Gartner Group, Philip Allega: “Enterprise architecture is the process that interweaves business and IT together”
6. Institute for Enterprise Architecture Development: “Enterprise Architecture is about understanding all of the different elements that go to make up the enterprise and how those elements interrelate”
7.MIT Center for Information Systems Research: “Enterprise Architecture is the organizing logic for key business processes and IT capabilities reflecting the integration and standardization requirements of the firm’s operating model.”
8.The ArchiMate Foundation: “A coherent whole of principles, methods, and models that are used in the design and realization of an enterprise’s organizational structure, business processes, information systems, and infrastructure ”
9.The Open Group: “By being inclusive with all other management frameworks, EA is a discipline that helps the Enterprise define , develop and exploit the boundaryless information flow (BIF*) capabilities in order to achieve the Enterprise’s Strategic Intent.” *Boundaryless Information Flow is a Trademark of The Open Group
10.US Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF): “Enterprise architecture is a management practice to maximize the contribution of an agency’s resources, IT investments, and system development activities to achieve its performance goals. Architecture describes clear relationships from strategic goals and objectives through investments to measurable performance improvements for the entire enterprise or a portion (or segment) of the enterprise”
(Please, note that definitions are sorted in alphabetical order based on the names of organizations created them)
Which definition corresponds to YOUR perception of Enterprise Architecture? Register at ARIS Community, vote and influence on the results!