Select Page

The evolution of ArcGIS is fascinating. We remember well the tumultuous events of 2004 with the release of Google maps. How it shook the GIS industry. Well we remember the reverberations inside of esri and their innovative reaction. It seems so long ago.

The location technology sector (let me use the umbrella term for our industry in place of the more narrow GIS), is expanding rapidly. New demand for the technology is creating a wave of innovation. Almost unprecedented. Google are shifting, new players (GISCloud, MapBox etc) have entered the market. And ArcGIS is rapidly evolving.

As GIS specialists and an esri partner we are super excited about these changes. Focusing on ArcGIS, we recently took a step back and assessed the current landscape. We summarize below what we are seeing in terms of ArcGIS adoption:

– GIS departments who could never afford ArcGIS server are testing ArcGIS Online through desktop licenses.
– GIS departments hesitant or unable to upgrade from older versions of ArcGIS server. Concerned about ArcGIS Online credits, security etc.
– GIS departments gradually moving to ArcGIS Online in phases
– GIS departments fully embracing ArcGIS Online.
– Organization without GIS but who recognize their need for location intelligence, without understanding GIS.
– Organization without GIS who do not recognise the potential benefits of the technology.

The notion of platform and ArcGIS continues to be a new idea for many current ArcGIS users. Instead of thinking in terms of separate elements: ArcGIS server, desktop etc, platform means a holistic set of applications and services. United by identity and web maps. Concerns remain around credits, and security. We still see clients taking a cautious approach. True some have fully adopted the platform, see the Salt Lake Dept of Public Utilities for a good example. Those new to GIS who recognise the need for GIS in their organizations are also looking to evolve their ArcGIS platform strategy. Staying focused on problems and using non-GIS language greatly helps with these conversations.

Overcoming Resistance, and Demonstrating Value

Resistance to change and caution over ‘new’ are a natural part of our make up as humans. WebMapSolutions find often we need to sell the benefits of the platform before we can focus on the problem and solution. Staying focused on the problem only and expecting the rest to fall into place, in our experience, rarely happens in reality. There is much interest in ArcGIS Online. From those who historically could not afford ArcGIS server, from those who recognise continuing to use ArcGIS requires migration to the platform and from those who simply lack location intelligence within their organization. Conversations with these clients are multi-layered. Much initial focus is on education around the platform, overcoming concerns and demonstrating value. Looking at the problem and potential platform based solutions then follows. Ideas become webmaps, mobile apps, storymaps, dashboards.

Sometimes resistance is hard to overcome. Much of this comes down to demonstrating value. We’ve worked with small companies who will stretch their budgets to implement a platform solution, quickly understanding and recognizing the long term value. And large companies who balk at a $7k a year investment, seeing it as impossibly extravagant. When it comes to perceived value, there are many shades of grey.

Looking Ahead

Getting the technology out of the way, is how we read esri’s approach. With templates, free apps, Web AppBuilder, App Studio; configuration rather than custom coding is being promoted. Those adopting the platform are being empowered to stand up maps and apps themselves. Sure partners like ourselves are helping, but the days of complete reliance on GIS programmers are going away. That can only be a good thing. Esri partners should be focused on jump starting platform implementations. In our case we have a series of packages which help customers quickly move forward with adopting the platform. Where we see gaps we are building products which help clients with specific workflows; mobile GIS and geo-enabling or GIS/IT are two areas where we are particularly focused.


We love working with those who recognise the value of the platform. With those who are open to understanding the potential value the platform brings to their organization. We continue to help customers with all aspects of ArcGIS platform implementations. We have specialists in our ArcGIS and professional services groups who help customers move from problem to solution. As emerging GIS experts we are particularly skilled at providing field mobility solutions.

We think there are exciting things to come from the ArcGIS platform as it evolves. GIS anywhere, anytime, on any device is part of our mission statement. We see ArcGIS as helping us with this mission.

If you are looking to adopt, understand or deepen your engagement with ArcGIS, contact us on 801-733-0723, we can help.

Subscribe to WebMapSolutions GIS Blog

WebMapSolutions latest GIS articles sent straight to your inbox

* indicates required

Schedule Free ArcGIS Consultation
Our goal is to help you successfully apply ArcGIS to solve your business problems. Conducted by an ArcGIS expert, our free 30 min consultation will help move you forward.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Our blog is filled with lively discussion, news, ideas. We take a fresh perspective on the rapidly changing world of GIS. Don't miss a post ... join over 1000 of your peers.
Do you want massive traffic?
Dignissim enim porta aliquam nisi pellentesque. Pulvinar rhoncus magnis turpis sit odio pid pulvinar mattis integer aliquam!
  • Goblinus globalus fantumo tubus dia montes
  • Scelerisque cursus dignissim lopatico vutario
  • Montes vutario lacus quis preambul den lacus
  • Leftomato denitro oculus softam lorum quis
  • Spiratio dodenus christmas gulleria tix digit
  • Dualo fitemus lacus quis preambul pat turtulis
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
Are you looking for advice or help with ArcGIS? We are happy to share with you our thoughts and expertise to move you forward. Fill out the form below and we will be in contact soon.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Our goal is to help get started and maximize GIS ROI. Conducted by on of our GIS experts, our free 1 hr Discovery Workshop will provide you a GIS road-map.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Schedule a GeoAppSmart Demo
GeoAppSmart for ArcGIS we have designed with flexibility in mind. Let us show you how the app works. Fill out the form below, and we will contact you to set up a demo.
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Request a Demo
Learn more about GeoAppSmart for ArcGIS. Schedule a demo. We can show you the features of this is a new breed on super flexible ArcGIS apps..
Our blog is filled with lively discussion, news, ideas. We take a fresh perspective on the rapidly changing world of GIS. Don't miss a post ... join over 1000 of your peers.
Subscribe now to our free daily newsletter and get special offers and 20% discount.
More than just MOBILE .. All device ArcGIS apps are finally HERE!
GeoAppSmart for ArcGIS is one of a new breed of web based ArcGIS apps which:

  • Runs on any device - PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet
  • Can be used anywhere - Online or offline
  • Infinitely flexible - Built using plug-in tools
  • Easy to set up, configure and use

Download our new eBook, and learn more about these new super flexible web apps.
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
New to ArcGIS Online and wondering how to GET STARTED?
Our free eBook 'Success with ArcGIS: Your Roadmap' will walk you through the critical success elements:

  • Defining the problem
  • Evolving the story
  • Building the runway
  • Solution implementation

If you are looking to JUMPSTART your deployment and use of ArcGIS Online this eBook is for you.
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Our newsletter is filled with news, tips, tutorials and lively discussion focused on the exciting, rapidly evolving world of GIS. Join over 2000 of your peers.
Wondering about Mobile GIS?
Our free eBook 'Your Guide to Mobile GIS' will help you get started and move forward with this exciting technology. We cover:

  • Your mobile GIS options
  • Provide case studies
  • Discuss best choices
  • Look ahead

If you are looking to improve how your mobile staff get their work done. This free eBook is for you.
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
Want to get the most out of ArcGIS Online?
Our free eBook 'Success with ArcGIS Online' will walk you through the critical success elements including:

  • The Why
  • The Who
  • The How
  • The Where

If you are looking to get started or maximize your ArcGIS Online ROI, this eBook is for you.
* we never share your e-mail with third parties.
IoT on Map - Real-Time Reporting, Tracking and Monitoring Made Simple
Download our free Internet of Things eBook. Learn how to easily track moving assets, monitor fixed assets and report problems in real-time. Simple, flexible and affordable.
Want to get the most out of ArcGIS Online?
Download our free eBook 'Success with ArcGIS Online'. The eBook walks you through the key success elements: the why, who, how and where. Get started or maximize your ArcGIS Online ROI.
Sign up for our free GIS Discovery Workshop
Wondering how to get started or maximize your GIS ROI? Our free 1 hour workshop is designed to provide you a road-map to success with GIS. Sign up for it today.