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Saving Money at the Esri Federal GIS Conference

The Esri Federal GIS conference is currently happening at the Walter E. Washington convention center in Washington D.C. With all of the financial uproar happening in Washington right now, I think it’s more important than ever for industries to understand how the implementation of GIS and image analysis techniques can provide tangible cost-savings. GIS technologies allow people to make more informed decisions in a shorter amount of time. This improves efficiency and productivity within an organization, and allows folks to save both time and money when executing projects. This benefit has been realized in the commercial world, in the civil sphere, and within the defense and intelligence communities. Most governmental organizations use GIS at some level nowadays, even if their focus in not GIS specific. The information contained in imagery, combined with the powerful analysis applications provided by commercial software companies, makes it easier than ever to implement a cost-saving GIS in short order. Now, if access to the information within imagery saves time and money, than instant access to this information saves even more time and money. The implementation of enterprise wide, or cloud based, GIS allows for instant access to the power of GIS from virtually anywhere in the world. The ability to quickly access information in support of decision making in the field only increases the efficiency of the organization as a whole, and maximizes the use of all of your resources, both local and remote. Even the implementation of an enterprise GIS saves money, in that it reduces IT overhead for server maintenance, user management, and versioning.  A centralized system is more powerful, easier to access, and easier to maintain. Perhaps that’s the most important keyword of them all…easy. Even the most valuable software tools are labeled as poor products if they are not simple to understand and use, regardless of the level of complexity that occurs behind the scenes. Software companies have come a very long way with regards to making their analysis tools easy to use, even for the non-traditional GIS user. As GIS becomes more commonly used and understood, the adoption of these products increases within the organization, and the need for simplified workflows to extract information from spatial data does as well. I’m excited to see the new ideas that the GIS community has come up with to facilitate the flow of information across the organization over the couple of days, and look forward to speaking with some of our customers to better understand their needs. What do you think? How has GIS saved your organization money? Do you think the development of simplified interfaces for conducting complex analysis will increase GIS across the enterprise?


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