10 years ago Enterprise Achitecture (EA) was (among other things) about connecting systems using the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) pattern.

Building and connecting systems using SOA was hard, most of the vendors has slightly different interpretations of SOA and thus different implementations hereof causing most systems you wanted to connect to require some middleware component that could translate between different dialects of SOA.

Technology itself was in the way, no matter how much EA and SOA you could throw at a problem integrating systems to get that illusive business advantage, you still had to tackle different endpoint implementations, type conversions and mapping between huge XML schemas from this standard to that standard.

ZapThink even published an explanation of the tenets of SOA using Lego bricks to make it easier to understand.

Fast forward 10 years and people are still talking SOA and most public RfPs still cite SOA as a requirement. The main difference is that SOA now just works.

The entire Web2.0 stack is based on SOA using communication between systems based on Web Services. The Cloud may be driving in huge datacenters that reduce the cost for computing, storage and delivery but the fuel is the ability to connect systems across technologies, vendors and data.

Now is the time to finally apply EA to business problems and gain real value.