I was talking with a group of EDS architects the other day about why I feel right now is a great time to be a software architect. We're currently in a time when there are many conflicts. For example: organizations want to have security, and yet readily share information. They want reliable access, and yet be able to access information while they're mobile. They want standard solutions and still be able to customize them to meet their needs (while taking the next release). Organizations want low-cost, yet high-quality solutions, as well as designs that are powerful and economically friendly. Groups want mature (low risk) solutions that are innovative.
It may always have been true, but now it's truer than ever. We're at a time when people want to choose among things, not between things. Well, architected solutions have a significant role to play in quenching this desire. We need to create solutions that are built for continuous change and not treat change as "a disruption of the status quo".
With all this change and conflict, there is significant opportunity. Those who are bold and create a vision will be able to seize the day. Defining that bold vision is one of the roles architects play.