There is little doubt that companies with the most efficient data management systems make better decisions faster. Geographic Information Systems or GIS Software records information in relation to a physical location and when implemented properly this allows for faster decision-making within companies, associations and Government institutions.
This is because the underlying data in GIS Software is presented in a combination of text and visual display such as maps, charts and summary reports which are more easily interpreted than lengthy written reports. Trending and planning just got easier!
In its infancy GIS Software was installed and managed onsite and an internal development was required to maintain server security and software updates. Software as a Service (Saas) has changed this because it is built on the principle of "software on demand". A SaaS supplier provides customized software solutions which is deployed and maintained using the suppliers own infrastructure and personnel. The SaaS provider typically licenses this software to customers who can then access the system securely via web browsers. The flexibility of SaaS as a delivery mechanism allows the client to tap into advanced technology systems on a "pay-as-you-go" basis and to focus on their core objectives and service delivery instead of technology installations and application maintenance.
GIS Software is coming into its own in terms of driving strategies because it can be customized to display geospatial information that is relevant to the end user. Whether you are assessing sales force deployment, potential service delivery inefficiencies, breakage risk assessments or planning utilities infrastructures - the graphic map outputs makes trending/planning faster as well as more accurate.
One of the big problems with GIS today is that it has failed to fulfil its true potential outside of its core markets such as the Government, Utilities, Telecommunications and Oil/Gas sectors. There is no doubt that GIS software can provide value to more users and organizations than the market serves today, but its uptake by the wider business community is still disappointing. Quite often business strategies exclude their IT departments in the planning process and utilise slower means of information management.
The SaaS model for GIS Software deployment is making it easier for companies to test the waters. The power of location information is becoming better understood by a wider-audience and it won't be long before the geospatial capabilities become a base-level expectation for more information systems. SaaS GIS Software meets this expectation by meeting the users demand for increasing functionality and ease-of-access to all data sources.