As enterprises continue to deploy business architecture capabilities, the need for a consistent, cohesive understanding of business architecture is growing increasingly critical. Frameworks, methodologies and tools will continue to evolve, but practices and technologies must be based on a solid foundation. This white paper promotes a common understanding of business architecture. The discussion defines the essence of the business architecture, how it relates to IT architecture, the importance of business architecture standardization, and a roadmap for achieving standardization. These efforts are being coordinated by the OMG Business Architecture Special Interest Group (BASIG).