Architecture is an over-used word in technology and business:
new product architecture
But what is architecture and why is it important to clients?
When a marketing person says:
"We want to give a free book to anyone who purchases ten books with us in a year, using our online service."
A developer will say:
"I get it. If order amount = x, then execute free item routine."
But an architect responds:
"I understand. We want value to be given to an entity when an event is triggered."
Architecture is about creating environments, not designing systems. Architects create the environment where disparate systems can operate together.
The extra effort and expense associated with architecture almost always result in lower downstream operation costs.
They also result in greater stakeholder satisfaction over time. In other words, a well-formulated plan results in smoother execution, and a higher quality product.