GIS Implementation

When institutions adopt a new technology there are bound to be issues associate with that technology’s implementation.  This paper described two instances where different institutions began using GIS as a decision-making aid.  Despite using an identical technology, the two government organizations had very different approaches to how to integrate their new tool.

The North County’s organization-wide adoption and promotion of the new tool sought to ensure all employees were fluent in the use of ArcInfo which attributed to the software’s success in this county.  Furthermore, the North County’s employees had a history of working with geospatial data making the new software an easy transition.  In the South County however, the software was only used by a very small group of computer scientists / analysts who were unfamiliar with geospatial data.

I think when adopting any new process or technology there has to be significant attention paid to how well an organization is structured to handle change.  In the North, analysts were use to changing technology regarding how geospatial data would be handled.  In the South, a rigid system overly reliant on one group of computer specialists resulted in a missed opportunity to have a staff team better trained in the handling of geographic data.

As this paper was written almost twenty years ago I would be interested in knowing how other organizations have implemented the use of GIS in more recent years.  I assume, though I could be incorrect, that as younger, more computer savvy people enter the workforce that barriers to the implementation of certain technologies will decrease.


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