GIS has no inherent value. That is a pretty strong statement, and one that is supposed to rankle GIS professionals; however, that is the position, rightfully so, that our clients take, regarding whether to invest (money and potentially organizational pain) in geospatial technologies and practices. And they are right!
Value is derived from GIS methods when its implementation is correct for our clients’ problems and aspirations. Our job as a company is to honestly determine what the issues are and whether they can be solved using GIS techniques. Unless there is a business need, and that need can be met through the use of GIS, then GIS is worthless to our clients, in and of itself.
Implementation of GIS can be driven by a problem to be solved or question to be answered. These sorts of questions can be as straightforward as where to put a client’s new franchise location or complex issues that require many layers of data. GIS can also be driven by an aspiration or goal, such as interest in a new market or product. Whatever a client’s reason for wishing to implement GIS, Integral will make sure the value that GIS will bring to the table will outweigh the costs.
The obvious benefit of using GIS is that it will solve the problem that the client seeks to solve. However, it often results in increased efficiency within the organization, and it also forces a certain rigor for data that is collected by the organization. This rigor includes better processes and workflows. This, in turn, improves productivity, performance, decision making outcomes, customer service, and brand image.
GIS can offer great value when it is appropriately implemented to solve a problem that requires GIS. Integral honestly helps clients determine if there is a need.