Scales are always the best way to get those fingers moving. There are a lot of good players out there that don’t practice the scales, but you would always be limiting yourself to what you can do if you decide to ignore them. You will also pick up a lot of bad habits with your fingering as well. Scales also have a huge benefit when it comes to learning chords and keys.
The only problem you may find when playing scales is that they can get quite boring after a while. So you really need to make sure you mix this in with playing pieces. If you plan to practice for 1 hour, then I would advise having about 20 minutes of scales, followed by 40 minutes of playing anything you like. Once you then start to get really good at the scales, you can then bring this back a little to say maybe 10-15 minutes. If you are practicing for more or less than an hour, it doesn’t matter – always try and play scales for about 30-40% of your routine to start with.
If you are preparing for the piano exams with the ABRSM, you will be purchasing their scale book which I recommend highly. The ABRSM gradually introduce new scales through each grade, which means you will eventually cover every single key and scale. If you decide not to take the piano exams, then I would still recommend you purchase the grade 1 scales, and then work your way up once you can play them from memory.
Finally, if you are ever finding that 30-40% of your time spent on scales is really boring, then take a break. Have a few days off from scales altogether and play what you like. As long as you are always playing something, then you will keep getting better and better. But don’t leave it for too long! Introduce those scales again after a few days, otherwise you will get rusty and start to forget them.