A Look at GIS Markets, Opportunities, Extending GIS to Enterprise Applications

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Welcome to GISWeekly! Two important studies were issued recently; one from Daratech and another from IDC, sponsored by ESRI. The Daratech and IDC studies were done entirely separately, however, there are some interesting parallels to be drawn here. The Daratech study focuses on the GIS market with an expansion to include coverage of geospatial markets and the IDC study focuses on ESRI's changing role in the evolving geospatial technology marketplace and how it is meeting the challenges of that technology extending beyond traditional GIS. Take a look at a summary of these two studies in this week's Industry News.

GISWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, Appointments, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.

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Susan Smith, Managing Editor



Industry News

A Look at GIS Markets, Opportunities, Extending GIS to Enterprise Applications
By Susan Smith

Two important papers were issued recently; one from Daratech and another from IDC, sponsored by ESRI. The Daratech and IDC studies were done entirely separately, however, there are some interesting parallels to be drawn here. The Daratech study focuses on the GIS market with an expansion to include coverage of geospatial markets and the IDC study focuses on ESRI's changing role in the evolving geospatial technology marketplace and how it is meeting the challenges of that technology extending beyond traditional GIS.

First of all, we will look at the Daratech study results and then look at how ESRI is addressing the four primary issues cited by the Daratech study.

Daratech

A recent Daratech study for the GIS market has expanded its coverage to include geospatial markets in 2005. Daratech has studied and written about the GIS market for fifteen years, and those interested can find in the “2004 GIS Markets & Opportunities,” analysis, description of Daratech's GIS market model and profiles of major core-business participants and their product lines.

What Daratech has come up with may seem somewhat obvious to those who follow geospatial technology trends on a regular basis, however, their analysis is definitely worth noting here. Daratech believes the following issues are the most important confronting the GIS and geospatial markets in 2005.
- Too much data, not enough standardization

- The Web changes everything

- Homeland Security initiatives are changing buying patterns and priorities

- Return on investment matters

- Information management is the key to success
Too much data, not enough standardization

Daratech is not the only one noticing this problem. Daratech's take on the problem is that as public and private organizations cooperate or consolidate and the need to share data increases, enterprises find themselves trying to integrate vast databases of valuable data, often at great cost.

The Web changes everything

GIS and geospatial technologies are enabling governments and utilities to make information available to their citizens on simple, effective websites-potentially reducing staffing in town offices. Serving up information not only from offices but to and from those with remote access on a wide basis has the potential to change the way information is made available, to whom, and how to protect data.

Homeland Security initiatives are changing buying patterns and priorities

Daratech's preliminary research indicates a 10% increase in governmental spending at all levels of GIS technologies-not including expenditure on hardware such as handheld devices-much of it for security initiatives. There are no hard and fast numbers yet, but there is the belief that much of the current day innovation is driven by security initiatives prompted in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. The integration of many types of disparate data has led to increased spending on existing tools and the development of new technologies.

Return on investment matters

Daratech covers other technology areas in which a calculated return on investment (ROI) has been a critical factor in technology selection. In the GIS and geospatial realm, this has been slow in coming, but is now becoming primary concern in for profit enterprises.

GIS and geospatial implementation now lead to a positive ROI statement where in the past this was not the case. Daratech research shows that most IT companies require a rapid return on investment. Contributing factors include reduced staffing due to website access of information, better data integration, increased productivity and greater customer satisfaction

Information management is the key to success

From the press release: “The next big battle in the Geospatial and GIS technology realm will be fought over how well spatial information and related metadata are managed. For many organizations, the key to a managed environment is data synchronization, ensuring that of the data, metadata structured and unstructured content can be leveraged by all types of users. In essence, data that is not synchronized is not useful-why share data that cannot be relied upon to be the latest, most accurate version? Other elements of data management include retiring data that is no longer needed; connecting GIS and Geospatial data to other information systems such as ERP systems; presenting information in 2D graphics, 3D displays or alphanumeric reports as appropriate to the content and reader; and the ability to search, query, or otherwise navigate the content-documents, components, and metadata.”

(For information contact Vicki Blake, Daratech, Inc., tel. (+1) 617.354.2339, ext. 2307, email vicki@daratech.com)

“ESRI: Extending GIS to Enterprise Applications”

Historically, ESRI has been in the vanguard of GIS development and trends, and it's no surprise to find that they are riding the latest tide of change, ready with innovation and a technology foundation. The key to their success, according to this white paper written by IDC and sponsored by ESRI, will be their ability to respond quickly to an ever changing IT marketplace.

The white paper focuses on ESRI's changing role in the evolving geospatial technology marketplace. ESRI, a leader in the GIS industry in terms of revenue and growth, now meets the challenges of a technology that is extending beyond traditional GIS. Information systems are incorporating location-based capabilities and also evolving from distributed client-server architectures to networked, service-oriented configurations.

Although these are major industry shifts, ESRI is in a strong position to address them with strategies based on the technical foundation of ArcGIS 9. The development of ArcGIS 9 in the mid-90s represented a “major” revision of ESRI's product line that includes an enterprise-grade GIS server, embeddable component libraries, and a developer's framework. Interestingly, ESRI views service-oriented architecture (SOA) as the framework for maintaining its independence from underlying IT technology, while simultaneously being able to comply with IT standards and systems.

ESRI's revenues are impressive: in 2004, the company grew at 16%, generating approximately $500 million in software and service sales. 80-90% of all government and regulated sector are ESRI customers, and it is the dominant vendor in established GIS markets. ESRI's broad strategies are intended to accomplish their goal of leading the new geospatial markets in much the same way as it has led GIS. These strategies are:
- Expand existing GIS implementations into enterprisewide solutions.

- Leverage ArcGIS 9's new federated capabilities to geospatially enable enterprise business systems (i.e., ERP, CRM, logistics, BI, operational analytics, etc.).

- Aggressively partner with major enterprise vendors and developers to add geospatial capabilities to their enterprise solutions. ESRI's enterprise partners included established players like SAP, IBM, PeopleSoft, Information Builders, and SAS Institute.
The IT Imperative

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