Though I find baseball a somewhat bizarre sport (as slow as cricket with players in uniforms resembling pyjamas), I have always liked the Kevin Cosner film Field of Dreams. Its a wonderful idea “If you build it they will come”, but alas with little place in reality. It’s Hollywood after all. Cosner’s problem in the film was solved by building the baseball field. In GIS we are also focused on problems. The early part of any customer engagement for us is problem discovery. But what if an organization does not recognise it has a problem?
Did you know you have a problem GIS can solve?
Let’s step back. For GIS the world is split into 3 segments:
Let’s break these segments down:
1. Using GIS – These are traditional GIS users. Desktop, Web and mobile GIS applications are all potentially being used within the organization. Usually there are in-house GIS experts. A key challenge here for GIS vendors is moving these organizations forward to using new cloud based solutions, and broadening that engagement.
2. Interested in GIS – These are organizations who have some understanding of GIS, but no in-house GIS expertise. These are often innovative, early adopters. They recognise they have a problem that GIS might be able to solve. But a GIS platform subscription alone is likely to confuse, more than help them move forward. Many of the customers to whom we provide GIS help fall into this category.
3. Do not know GIS – These organizations are the new frontier for GIS. This is an enormous potential marketplace for GIS technology. These are the folks who have no knowledge of GIS. Indeed, these are the organizations who may not even know they have a problem (GIS could solve).
As we focus ever more of our energy helping small and medium sized organizations, we find many fall into this third category. They might use Google Maps, or business intelligence platforms. Most are unfamiliar with GIS and the potential value it could bring to their organization. The GIS discovery process, as we will discuss in future blog posts, is critical in moving organizations from nothing to something and beyond.
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