The perceived value of GIS geospatial analysis seems to be not well understood, and there is little perception of value until we prove it. It is a struggle for a small company like ours, and we go to great lengths to prove how efficacious the application of these geospatial methods and processes are to use.
Companies will spend millions of dollars on SAP applications and balk at a small fraction of that on what could evolve into a corporate-wide geospatial platform and analytic suite of tools.
ESRI tries to address this by making the application of geospatial platforms as cheap as possible, which may make the perceived value even less. But if there is less pain in applying the platforms, more people may be interested.
The point of debate could be, if they are trying to cheapen it, is the perception to value it even less. It may get people who already wanted to do GIS and didn’t have a mechanism to do it, so that is good. But will this help GIS? It may reduce the barrier of entry. We’ll see what happens in the long run. It is our job to sort out what value or benefit these methods and technologies can bring to the people we work with. We have to do it in a considered way.