Geographic Information Systems Core to Utilities’ Enterprise IT Strategies, IDC Says

idc-logoUtilities are renewing their interest in geographic information systems (GIS) software as a means to leverage geographic information for business execution rather than just asset design, according to a new report from IDC.

The utility industry is not new to geographic information services (GIS). These applications have been used for decades to store geo-referenced asset attributes and engineering data as it applies to the networks for electricity, gas, water, and district heating distribution, and wastewater collection, as well as to provide a land-based display, mapping, or schematic view.

“GIS solutions are now becoming core to the utilities’ enterprise IT strategies as companies leverage geographic information for business execution rather than just asset management,” said Jean-François Segalotto, senior research analyst, IDC Energy Insights.

New GIS platforms enable utilities to use geospatial information and analytics to support a wide variety of business processes, thereby increasing operational efficiency. In addition, they provide users across the organization — from network engineers and field workers to customer support representatives — with access to a richer set of data, information, insight, and tools to improve their work.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Vendors increasingly provide advanced functionality for publishing, sharing, and collaborating on map-based information across the organization, leveraging cloud and Web services and mobile apps to effectively break down the traditional silos on access to geospatial data.
  • Top vendors in this space provide comprehensively verticalized GIS solutions, addressing the full spectrum of a utility network’s management needs and full business process support.
  • Data management technology is increasingly open, providing flexibility on the storage of spatial information and data interoperability.
  • GIS solutions are becoming easier to integrate as vendors use open architectures and support industry standards to meet user and partner requirements.
  • GIS-enabled asset design and modelling systems are focusing on providing utilities with a complete building information modelling (BIM) solution leveraging intelligent 2D and 3D asset models.
  • The use of 3D for asset design, modeling, visualization, and analysis is becoming an essential feature of modern GIS.

(For more information visit www.idc.com).