Well, it's a little like defining "healthcare" ....it's spans many different types of activities. There are lots of folks to participate in delivering healthcare and it seems to touch many areas of our lives. So to for the notion of Enterprise Architecture (EA) since it touches many areas within & without an organization. I suppose I could fall back on that age old expression "I know it when I see it", but I'm not sure we always know what we're looking at.
So, rather than attempting to define something which is more of a "continuum" rather than a discrete model, I would like to offer an analogy to how we "might" want to think about EA (again with the idea that EA IMHO appears seems organic and has "flow-based" characteristics).
Metadata is to data, information, and knowledge ...THAT
EA is to systems, platforms, enterprises, and value streams
Building on this analogy, think about EA (and Metadata) in these terms...and see if it resonates:
It binds, it aligns, it creates better understanding, it enables more value,The appearance of "simplicity" is that we can more easily get things done...
BUT it is NOT about enabling simplicity...it's about enabling value (in so many ways: by flowing imperceptibly w/in & w/out the value streams)..
It is about managing complexity, understanding and controlling scale, and enabling sustainability across the business, social, and physical environments
Not a definition, but perhaps a new way to think about EA...