While we all ponder that, I have collected a few good starting places that I've found useful. I'm not really separating whether these are just for Public Services/ Federal EA or open to the public sector too. There's enough overlap that I'm not making separate lists:
- Enterprise Architecture As Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution by Ross, Weill and Robertson - This book does a great job of introducing the value of EA from the standpoint of the business stakeholders within an organization. It actually just takes a lot of traditional non-IT related thinking about portfolio management and applies some modeling to make it useful. This is a great book for an interested executive who may want to know what the value of EA can be. Additionally, these authors are pretty involved in MIT's Center for Information Systems Research (which I'll probably do a post on the good work they are doing).
- An Introduction To Enterprise Architecture by Scott Bernard - This is a good primer and reference for a ton of useful EA artifacts. While not exhaustive, I find myself flipping through it for a quick example as it's pretty brief at only 250 pages or so. Certainly not the only book in your EA library, but it has a deserved place.
- Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture by Martin Fowler - If you've read Fowler, you probably like him and here is a collection of useful patterns for EA. Note though that this is really more around technology than as a business so it is useful for trying to find common group with your solutions architecture and development groups. I have a background in software development so I find it more interesting than other EAs who may have a background in traditional management or project/program management.
- IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results by Weill and Ross - A bit dry but more ammunition for the business case behind EA and how it fits into a comprehensive governance policy/program.
- FEAC Institute - A training and education outfit, but I found their course descriptions had some useful info on the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework and the Department of Defense Architecture Framework. Courses are expensive, web site is free.
- Institute for Enterprise Architecture Developments - Not related to the FEAC Institute and full of useful descriptions and diagrams.
- eGov's FEA site - This is the official word on FEA from the source. Not easy to digest, but it's all there.
- Government Computer News' EA blog - A decent reference of articles on what is happening in the government EA space.
- Architecture & Governance online magazine - Published by Troux Technologies and usually has something useful in each quarterly issue.
- TOGAF 8.1.1 book online - The open group has a useful architecture framework that I've found useful for representing architecture. I think it's apparent that it was developed by technical types, but still useful for EA.
That should be more than enough to start someone off on their path to EA nirvana. A few months ago, the wikipedia entry was pretty weak and dealt with just the systems/solutions aspect of EA, but now it seems pretty accurate with emphasis on strategy and capital planning.
I didn't include any references on Zachman although I wish I knew more sites for reference material as he's a real pioneer on EA. The zifa site is rather anemic when it comes to useful information and I figure people can figure out the wikipedia link themselves.