Ahhhh... I'm still recovering from the MVP Summit "social activities". ;-) It was a great summit. I learned a lot and saw a ton of amazing stuff coming from the Microsoft camp. I'm really excited about the future.
In my search for the answer to the question "What is an Architect?" I realized that even the other architects I spoke with had the same question. It was interesting to hear different views on what an architect is and what the architect MVPs actually did. I don't think there really is a clear definition of what an architect is or does exactly, however, I did learn that all architects have a couple things in common.
Architects are open minded people that can accept other people's solutions to particular problems. As long as the solution meets the problem's performance and scalability needs and the solution is easily maintainable then an architect will buy into your design. Architects balance the needs of the business and the needs of the system. They are sensitive to construction costs and maintenance costs based on the people designing and maintaining the system. They understand (or are at least aware of) the proven patterns of not only software solutions but also business processes.
Regardless of whether you are an enterprise connected systems architect or a software product architect or an infrastructure architect, you are sensitive to the construction and maintenance costs of your solution with your particular group of people and your particular business.