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April 27th, 2011
State-of-the-Art Mapping Technology Increases Business’ Success

However 77 per cent believe their business’ executive teams still don’t have a good understanding of the value that GIS brings or could further bring to their organisation.

“Technology such as GIS is a key enabler of effective business decision making, but all too often the task of using IT to drive business productivity sits solely with IT departments,” says Gary Johnson, Principal Consultant, Esri Australia Location Intelligence Consulting Practice.

“Gartner predicts that over $2.5 trillion will be spent on IT globally in 2011, which is almost three times the value of Australia’s GDP ($925 billion). To warrant this investment, senior executives need to get a deep understanding of how IT is being used across the business and make sure it is being used to its full potential.”

“All too often we see huge sums invested into new IT systems and processes, only to watch these technologies being used by small pockets of an organisation and not exploited to their full potential,” explains Johnson.

“While business executives need to get smarter about ICT investment and roll-out, the onus is also on technology providers to consult with their customers. This means clearly understanding the key business drivers and aligning technology to the needs of the entire organisation, not just the requirements of the CIO.”

Esri Australia’s research shows the majority of participants felt GIS was currently only used in a handful of departments. 83 per cent say the use of GIS is predominantly carried out by a dedicated GIS department, rather than being accessed by the whole organisation.

In addition, almost three quarters (74 per cent) of respondents say their GIS stands alone or is only partially integrated with other corporate systems.

“The value derived from GIS goes beyond simply plotting information on a map,” said Johnson. “Organisations store critical business information in a single location, which is accessible to all employees, whether in the office or in the field.

“Our experience shows when GIS is integrated into the whole organisation, it improves efficiencies across the board. For example Esri Australia’s GIS implementation with Energex identified $500 million of new Energex assets and delivered a $21 million return on capital. The GIS is fully integrated across the business and can be accessed by employees and members of the public to minimise outages and significantly reduce maintenance and repair times.

“For applications like GIS, investments in organisation-wide training are critical to deliver maximum value,” concludes Johnson. 

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