Enterprise Architecture (glossary)

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(1) A rigorous description of the structure of an enterprise, its decomposition into subsystems, the relationships between the subsystems, the relationships with the external environment, the terminology to use, and the guiding principles for the design and evolution of an enterprise. (Giachetti 2009)
(2) A strategic information asset base, which defines the business, the information necessary to operate the business, the technologies necessary to support the business operations, and the transitional processes necessary for implementing new technologies in response to the changing business needs. It is a representation or blueprint. (CIO Council 1999)
(3) The formal description of the structure and function of the components of an enterprise, their interrelationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time. (MOD 2004)
(4) A discipline for proactively and holistically leading enterprise responses to disruptive forces by identifying and analyzing the execution of change toward desired business vision and outcomes. Enterprise architecture delivers value by presenting business and IT leaders with signature-ready recommendations for adjusting policies and projects to achieve target business outcomes that capitalize on relevant business disruptions. It is used to steer decision making toward the evolution of the future state architecture. (Gartner 2013)


(1) Giachetti, R.E. 2009. Design of Enterprise Systems: Theory, Architectures, and Methods. Boca Raton, FL, USA: CRC Press.

(2) CIO Council. 1999. Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF). Washington, DC, USA: Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council.

(3) MOD. 2004. Ministry of Defence Architecture Framework (MODAF), version 2. London, UK: U.K. Ministry of Defence.

(4) Gartner IT Glossary. S.V. "enterprise architecture." Accessed 11 March 2013, available at: http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/enterprise-architecture-ea/.


Components of the enterprise can be any element that is a part of the composition of the enterprise and can include people, processes and physical structures, as well as engineering and information systems. (MOD 2004)

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