After a period where implementation speed was more important than integration, consistency and reduction of complexity, architectural considerations have become a key issue of information management in recent years again. Enterprise architecture is widely accepted as an essential mechanism for ensuring agility and consistency, compliance and efficiency. Although standards like TOGAF and FEAF have developed, however, there is no common agreement on which architecture layers, which artifact types and which dependencies constitute the essence of enterprise architecture. This paper contributes to the identification of essential elements of enterprise architecture by (1) specifying enterprise architecture as a hierarchical, multilevel system comprising aggregation hierarchies, architecture layers and views, (2) discussing enterprise architecture frameworks with regard to essential elements, (3) proposing interfacing requirements of enterprise architecture with other architecture models and (4) matching these findings with current enterprise architecture practice in several large companies.
Journal of Enterprise Architecture