Enterprise Architecture

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Enterprise architecture (EA) is a comprehensive operational framework that explores all of an organization's functional areas while defining how technology benefits and serves the organization's overall mission. The technological aspect of EA defines the hardware, operating systems, programming and networking solutions a business employs and how those may be used to achieve its current and future objectives.
EA includes the following components:
•Applications and Infrastructure

EA facilitates improvement of processes in the following ways:
•Discovering business processes that require change
•Efficiently and continuously managing change via clearly defined documentation
•Developing and implementing enterprise-wide procedures
•Encouraging effective enterprise-wide communication, which, in theory leads to better decisions.

Advantages of having an enterprise architecture include:
•Improved decision making
•Improved adaptability to changing demands or market conditions
•Elimination of inefficient and redundant processes
•Optimization of the use of organizational assets
•Minimization of employee turnover.
•Allowing more open collaboration between IT and business units
•Giving business the ability to prioritize investments
•Making it easier to evaluate existing architecture against long-term goals
•Establishing processes to evaluate and procure technology
•Giving comprehensive view of IT architecture to all business units outside of IT
•Providing a benchmarking framework to compare results against other organizations or standards.
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