Low-cost carrier’s (LCC) chief element strategy is to fly large numbers of passengers on high frequency, short hops at bargain fares. LCC is able to serve this low-cost segment in the most efficient and economical way by providing fast turnaround time on the ground, standardize all of its planes to lower the cost of training, maintenance and inventory. LCC also opting for reliable, large aircraft manufacturers that offer range of aircrafts with different seating capacity model without ending up with collection of aircrafts from different manufacturers.
It makes a lot of business sense, else you will have to have different crews/hanger/tools to maintain/ stow/fly different aircrafts, different sets of training facilities, as well as different ground infrastructures needed to stow the aircrafts. Worst of all different aircrafts might have different operating procedures and might not able to integrate with each other.
In GIS implementation it is also important to consider the scalability of the GIS software in your implementation, else you would end up having Fokker/McDonnell Douglas in one department, and Airbus/Boeing in another department when you scale up your GIS implementation i.e. after your GIS application is gaining more popularity. Over the longer run, maintaining different incompatible software systems will make your maintenance cost shooting through the root. Worst of all, these different GIS software might not able to integrate well with each other and you are not able to standardize the workflow to maximize your ROI.
It is quite typical that GIS project started with desktop GIS level by a group of specialists to support a single department’s needs i.e. to support simple mapping application and to perform competitive analysis for marketing department. Soon other departments would like to leverage on the capabilities to perform planned or unplanned maintenance works; to track asset inventory; to extend it to customer care officers so that they are aware of the service availability when dealing with customer inquiry and the field crew would probably like to be able to see the accurate network diagram in the field and update the work order once the job is completed, etc. The desktop GIS that first started at marketing department soon need to be upgraded to enterprise GIS with server GIS and mobile GIS capabilities.
As per lesson learned from low-cost carrier, rightfully the last thing you would want to do is to end up having different software system for desktop, server, field and mobile environment that’s not compatible with each other. If you are the CIO or CTO of your organization that has on-going or about to get started with GIS implementation, you might want to do your stakeholders a favour by asking why on earth we are not following the proven business wisdom from low-cost carrier. It is quite understandable that departmental managers only look after their own needs, but as “C” level executives of an organization, it is our responsibility to look at bigger picture and interest of the company as totality.
If software is only good at desktop level but not scalable to meet your next server, mobile and enterprise GIS requirements, is it worth your on-going investment (which involves software, hardware, data, training, etc.)?
GIS can be a hobby but it will be a very costly hobby if you start to collect different type of non-compatible GIS software in your organization.