Just like building construction follows architecture informed blueprints, Enterprise Architecture (EA) drives technology blueprints that help align everyone on what is going to be accomplished when and what outcomes are going to be realized.
EA plays an instrumental role in aligning the technology and related investments to the business objectives. Though there are books on this topic, it basically comes down to:
- Business value realization - what are the capabilities needed to realize my business objectives?
- Technology management - how do I balance re-use, innovation and cost containment?
- (most importantly) Communication - EA bridges the communication between the technology and business. The artifacts help the business stakeholders understand the trade-offs, benefits and risks, while they assist the IT organization understand the delineation of responsibility, integration points and changes in the overall environment.