I read an article by Bern Szukalsk on Esri’s Insider Blog titled ” Enabling the Fifth Part of a Successful GIS” and my natural tendency to evaluate myself as well as my opinions kicked into gear. I have been championing for a while now that GIS must be an organizational platform not just a tool to make maps. Instead GIS should be the conduit in which all the data silos no longer are silos but interact seamlessly so there are no silos to the naked eye. As part of my argument I have recognized there needs to be an executive champion or there will be little hope of GIS being used to it’s fullest potential.
It is possible at the end of the day people are the most important and most complex component of GIS. It is very easy to get caught up in the hardware, software, data, and integration of a GIS only to forget it takes people to buy-in and want GIS to be successful. If the people and executive champions are not bought-in to seeing the full power of the GIS realized then it will not happen. I cannot tell you how many organizations I run into where GIS software has been purchased and vast amounts of money has been paid in maintenance fees but GIS is used to just make maps. This is incredible waste.
It is no wonder decision makers have a hard time justifying the cost of GIS when they fail to see 1). true value of GIS in decision making and 2). there is a tremendous amount of cost savings/efficiency in a fully integrated GIS. The Return-On-Investment (ROI) is there for GIS can be substantial when people put others ahead of themselves and not worry about political games which transpire inside of an organization.
Jason Tuck is the owner/founder of Providence GIS Solutions as well as a GIS evangelist. He can be found on twitter, facebook, and linkedin, you are welcome to follow and connect with him. Jason is always open to dialog about GIS and the impact on an organization. His passion is to educate organizations about the full power of GIS and GIS is “More than A Map”.