I am well aware that for many people, the idea of playing scales, and other warm up exercises is about as exciting as watching paint dry. However, there can be no substitute for technique and good playing basics, like ensuring that scales and arpeggios are played correctly, and in a suitable manner as to ensure correct warm up of the hands, fingers, and joints. Many pianists have come to grief, by simply sitting down at the piano, and getting straight into a full routine to play a complex work, without the former warm ups suggested.
Now, the pianist may well get away with this for quite some time, even possibly years. although more likely than not, they will experience quite debilitating injuries in due course.
The tendons of the hands are placed under considerable strain when complex works are played, and the problem is exacerbated by people with small hand spans, as they need to stretch more to play the more complex works.
Particularly with beginners, by laying a solid foundation, and understanding the scale and note patterns, the student will be able to appreciate the more complex playing techniques in later years, and tackle them with greater ease as well. Many great piano teachers have spoken about the piano being about simplicity, in that even complex processes are made up of simple steps, often joined together by rapid playing. Whilst this is simple in its own right, it will become even simpler when attempted and done after a suitable warm up, every time.
Scales and Arpeggios are also mentioned in Wallace Tate's Magic Touch Piano Manual, describing the Bowman Method.