In my last post, we looked at how three key areas of GIS are experiencing quite a bit of change. The digital transformation is happening now, but with all the excitement comes uncertainty. Determining if ArcGIS Pipeline Referencing, Big Data, or a new data model is the right fit for your GIS can be difficult. Developing a plan for your GIS, while considering all the available options and continuing to produce the information products your users require, can be a daunting task. With this in mind, we at New Century Software set out to put together a solution to help train, evaluate, and build out your plan for the future of your GIS. Our solution aims to make the process as productive as possible, ensure requirements are met, mitigate the risks, and navigate the wild cards.
While the number and types of risks vary from organization to organization, there are some standard risks we can work to mitigate. The first is technical; Standing up a test environment and making sure it is done quickly and correctly can be a challenge. Understanding the expected behavior is at the core of evaluating new technology. Technical challenges and misconfigured environments can add an additional variable to the process. The other main risk is our day-to-day activities. This is in no way unique to our industry. Getting caught in the tornado of daily activities and not dedicating enough time to fully evaluate new technology can cause significant delays in moving ahead to the next stage in the process.
Our industry loves data models. No matter your role in your organization’s GIS department, you have inevitably heard a data model discussion or, better yet, a heated debate. Currently, the PODS data model, one of the more prevalent options, is in transition; PODS NextGen is in the works; and, in the meantime, PODS Lite is poised to meet the basic needs of those evaluating APR. There’s currently a myriad of choices: NextGen, PODS Lite, home grown solutions… With no solid ground under our feet in terms of a data model choice, how can you make a reliable plan?
At the end of the day, the goal should be a resilient system that aligns solutions, technology, and people, and provides parity in terms of functionality, workflows, and systems integrations. Necessities equate to requirements and vary based on user needs, system maturity, and the vision you have for your GIS. Having a clear set of requirements is key to planning the future of your system.
We are working on a solution that brings together our wide range of expertise and provides a short-duration, focused evaluation platform and process to help you and your team plan the future of your GIS. Our hosted environment allows you to start immediately. No servers to configure, no software to install. If you prefer to keep everything in-house, we can bring our expertise to you. If you are thinking about evaluating ArcGIS Pipeline Referencing, building out Portal workflows, or learning how ArcGIS Pro fits within your organization, we have you covered. From data management to alignment sheet generation and web apps, we can help you determine the best path forward for your GIS and your team.