We’ve compiled the results of our survey. As we looked through the responses and compared them to our experience and the trends in the industry a few important takeaways came to light:
- Almost every organization has some fragmentation in their GIS operating environment. Most organizations use multiple instances of GIS platform and often products from different vendors. We’ve seen this firsthand with some of our customers. In our experience this occurs when disparate groups implement a point solution. The organization ends up with several groups and products haphazardly working to address the organizations needs. Taking a step back and looking strategically across the organization can help to identify an approach to an Enterprise GIS platform. The Enterprise GIS platform should help the organization manage costs related to the upkeep and operation of the separate GIS platforms, as well as improve the communication, productivity and quality of the teams leveraging the platform.
- By a factor of 2:1 organizations looked to outside technology consultants to assist with their GIS-based projects and maintenance. Of those third party consultants, less than half were certified partners with the GIS product provider. The two primary drivers of this trend are: 1. Cost of Services; 2. Overall Value of Consulting. What we’ve seen is that organizations are looking to reduce their capital expenses related to Technology / IT projects and will choose the lowest cost options that can provide adequate services; or organizations are selecting the consultants that have specific expertise that is closely related to their project needs (e.g. integration with ERP).
- GIS platforms are increasingly becoming the hub of corporate operational information. As each organization grows in their maturity and experience, the GIS systems are integrated into other business systems and business group’s processes. This is reflected in the spending projections for the next 12-18 months with over 80% expecting the operating expenses to increase or remain at the same level compared to the previous year.
- Looking at the future for GIS operations, 3 of the 4 significant trends related to the ability to access the information and platform:
- Moving to a cloud-based GIS platform
- Increased and direct integration with other business systems
- Mobilizing the GIS platform for both information access and data capture