A Business-First Approach for Maximizing the Impact of Enterprise GIS

A geospatial strategy outlines how an organization will leverage GIS technology to support its business goals. Platforms like Esri ArcGIS provide comprehensive GIS capabilities, while business software suites such as Oracle NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365 can integrate with GIS or utilize location data to enhance specific business functions.

A four-phase approach to a geospatial strategy.

By aligning geospatial capabilities and technologies with business needs, organizations can effectively leverage GIS to achieve their goals and improve outcomes across various business functions. Esri’s ArcGIS platform, along with Oracle NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365, are valuable tools for those organizations seeking to implement a geospatial strategy and align GIS with business objectives.


To define and execute your own geospatial strategy:

Review Esri’s approach to developing a geospatial strategy, and then form a team that includes a motivated champion, an executive sponsor, and a technical sponsor.

  • Champion: Recognizes the value of geospatial solutions and is passionate about leveraging GIS to address business challenges. The Champion will advocate for the use of geospatial technology within the organization.
  • Executive Sponsor: Provides the necessary resources, support, and funding for the geospatial strategy. An Executive should have the authority to make decisions and allocate resources within the organization.
  • Technical Sponsor: Oversees the implementation and maintenance of sustainable geospatial solutions. A Technical Sponsor should have expertise in geospatial technology and ensure the technical viability of the strategy.

Develop and execute your geospatial strategy by engaging stakeholders across your organization, identifying business challenges, developing a plan that addresses the needs of the business, implementing solutions through an incremental process, and revisiting your plan over time.

In the Understand phase, the team engages with stakeholders across the organization including departmental and functional area executives, key business unit directors, and GIS users and managers. Through these meetings, the team learns what is driving these stakeholders and develops a shared understanding of the organization, its goals and its challenges. The outcome of the Understand phase is clear and shared knowledge of the organization including its mission, goals, business challenges, and more.

In the Plan phase, the team defines the targeted future state that will allow the organization to overcome its challenges and meet its goals, and then identifies the gaps between existing capabilities and what is needed. By comparing the current and future states, the team can define the technology, data, workflows, and skills necessary to establish sustainable solutions that address business needs. This phase concludes with a road map, which is a prioritized and sequenced set of activities.

In the Act phase, the team executes a series of implementation cycles consisting of activities defined in the road map. Each implementation cycle should result in one or more tangible outcomes.

In the Revisit phase, the team adapts and updates the plan as leadership goals change, business priorities shift, and technology evolves. The plan should be revisited regularly – especially after each implementation cycle – to ensure it is maximizing the impact of GIS on the organization.

Leverage best practices to maximize the impact of your geospatial strategy and GIS within your organization.

Remember to leverage Esri ArcGIS as a powerful geospatial platform that can support your strategy’s implementation. Take advantage of Esri’s expertise, training resources, and community support to maximize the value of your geospatial solutions.

By following these steps and engaging a dedicated geospatial strategy team, you can develop and execute a geospatial strategy tailored to your organization’s unique needs and goals.

GeoBusiness connects ArcGIS with Microsoft Dynamics 365, Oracle NetSuite, and other enterprise systems.

GeoBusiness is an Esri ArcGIS Location Intelligence Platform with real-time mapping, visualization, and geo-analytics. GeoBusiness enables organizations to monitor operations, share data, and create actionable intelligence through Location Intelligence technology.

GeoBusiness is Software as a service (SaaS) offering.

Who We Are

GCS is a Geospatial Information Technology Services Company delivering award-winning solutions.

Our team of geospatial IT and cloud certified professionals help organizations unlock and enable GIS technology.  With over 200 years of combined technical expertise, GCS converts your ideas into reality through customer-driven, innovative applications. GCS customers gain strategic value through increased productivity, efficiency and profitability, optimizing mission-critical business processes.

Esri Partner

Esri Partner Network Silver

Since 2002, GCS has been an Esri Business Partner.

Click here for more best practices for architecting the ArcGIS system.

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