The worldwide market for Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) is forecast to grow 65 percent over the next five years, representing a compound annual growth rate of 10.5 percent, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. With the global economic downturn now predominantly in the past, capital spending on information technology has rebounded vigorously. The GIS market has taken part in this technology rebound and is expected to experience vibrant growth.
“Traditionally strong GIS market segments such as electric power, oil and gas distribution, and divisions of federal governments continue to expand their use of GIS solutions. Meanwhile, more contemporary segments such as insurance, real estate, and retail are expected to increase GIS adoption along with the global economic rebound,” according to Clint Reiser, Enterprise Software Analyst, and the principal author of ARC’s “Geospatial Information Systems Worldwide Outlook”.
Government Policy Drives GIS SalesA large percentage of total GIS sales is to the government and utility sectors. This characteristic makes the GIS market sensitive to changes in government policy. The Smart Grid initiative in the US, the European 20/20/20 initiative, and India’s power development program are currently stimulating growth in GIS sales to the electric power industry. The US Pipeline Integrity, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act is expected to drive GIS sales to the oil &gas distribution industry as suppliers employ GIS to support risk-based integrity management programs and improvements in asset reporting capabilities. At the same time, government spending at the federal level on infrastructure and technology has been initiated in many regions as means of stabilizing the economy, supporting future growth, and maintaining current programs. Some of this spending is expected to generate GIS sales to government agencies.
Modern IT Reshapes the GIS MarketMobile solutions, web services, and cloud computing have become influential factors within the GIS industry. Mobile GIS has become more prevalent and shows promise for increased adoption in network design and maintenance functions. The software-as-a-service business model is now well established as the delivery mechanism for geospatial business analysis solutions. Meanwhile, the improvements in connectivity provided by cloud computing have also brought about an influx of GIS products that integrate imaging and GIS data with time-based information such as traffic reports to create mash-ups. Improvements in connectivity are also providing increased visibility into GIS data sets stored within organizations, thereby decreasing duplicate purchases and unnecessary costs. The continuing adoption of mobile GIS, the SaaS delivery model, and other forms of cloud computing have great potential to transform and expand segments of the GIS market in the near future.
Emerging Markets Primed for GrowthEmerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil continue to invest in infrastructure for electric power distribution, water & wastewater, and telecommunications. GIS sales to these regions will increase as the local utilities adopt GIS to improve their infrastructure management processes.