This is an interesting question and in fact one that has been voiced to us recently. For a number of years at Solidsoft we have been 'helping' local government deliver connected systems in the drive to deliver e-Government here in the UK. A number of key points have come to light during that period:
1. In a lot of cases our work has been limited to connecting legacy systems to other systems, connecting Local Authorities (LA's) to the Government Gateway and helping provide key service facades. What has been absent in all but a few has been the drive for Business Process Automation, Integration or management. This has limited the use of BizTalk to connectivity and transformation.
2. Money. Most LA's don't have a lot. If they do their concept of what it will be is very much out of tilt with the 'real' market place and last but not least spending money on projects requires huge leadtimes
3. Skillset. The skills needed for BizTalk are not at the cheap end of the scale, typically LA's and in fact Government all over pays at the lowest end of the scale. Skill guys in BizTalk leads to a fast brain drain almost as the paint dries on the first project!
4. Complexity. BizTalk is very hard for people to get their heads round and therefore seen as very hard to support.
5. Tactical v Strategic : Again, in most case cancels are looking at the tactical, in their face solutions rather than taking a much more strategic view of what is needed. BizTalk, I fear, is much more suited to strategic.
So what is the solution? Three options:
1. LA's and LG abandon BizTalk based solutions
2. Microsoft deliver 'BizTalk Light'
3. We deliver a 'BizTalk Light'
The third option appeals to me and one that I think, over the next few weeks, may be worth considering....
Watch this space!