FIM enjoys this strange place somewhere between the skillset of an IT Pro and the skillset of a Developer.
The product used to require great efforts (and maybe some goats) for a successful deployment. FIM 2010 promised to reduce the effort by adding in declarative provisioning, but the result has to be weighed against the added complexity of the new components in FIM 2010 (workflow, portal, SSPR, and soon SSRS and System Center).
A comment from this blog post indicates what might happen when the weight of a product’s complexity is just too much:
Deep domain knowledge is frequently transferred. It takes a little while, but a team’s existing experts are usually pleased to instruct an outstanding new team member. If they aren’t or an area is far too complex for even sharp people to comprehend, then you’ve got other serious problems.
If you’ve mastered FIM then you are indeed an expert with deep domain knowledge. For over a decade that expertise has been in high demand. You could almost relate the complexity of the product to the demand for our expertise. The comment above is a reminder that there is a limit to just how complex a solution can be before it becomes a problem itself.
The moral of the story is that we need to apply practices such as those in the blog author’s book in order to reduce the complexity of FIM deployments, and also improve the stability of these deployments.