A definition of Enterprise Architecture is addressed in 2 constituent parts – enterprise and architecture.
The Open Group defines ‘enterprise’ as follows:
An ‘enterprise’ is any collection of organisations that has a common set of goals and/or a single bottom line. In that sense, an enterprise can be a government agency, a whole corporation, a division of a corporation, a single department, or a chain of geographically distant organisations linked together by common ownership.
Gartner define ‘architecture’ as follows;
1. The grand design or overall concept employed in creating a system, as in the architecture of a city or a customer information system; also “an abstraction or design of a system, its structure, components and how they interrelate”
2. A family of guidelines (concepts, policies, principles, rules, patterns, interfaces and standards) to use when building a new IT capability.
Enterprise Architecture is designed to ensure alignment between the business and IT strategies, operating model, guiding principles, and the software development projects and service delivery.
By taking a global, enterprise-wide, perspective across all the business services, business processes, information, applications and technology, Enterprise Architecture ensures the enterprise goals and objectives are addressed in a holistic way across all the application development projects and their deployment into production.