local Government

Shadow IT & Shadow GIS

Shadow IT & Shadow GIS

There are two meanings here: 1. You might be building your GIS as Shadow IT, know the pitfalls and realities. 2. Beware your GIS 'clients' may be building Shadow GIS underneath you. 

Shadow IT is a real thing. It's talked about at conferences and even has a Wikipedia page. Essentially, it is when 'unofficial' tech infrastructure is built in parallel to the official IT department; sometimes sanctioned, sometimes not. GIS could exist as a Shadow IT in both positive and negative way

Leaving a legacy: Preventing the loss of Tribal Data.

Leaving a legacy: Preventing the loss of Tribal Data.

As employees accumulate years on the job, they begin to build up an internal database of information.  A common term for this is Tribal Knowledge. Tribal knowledge is used to describe the wealth of data that a long time employee has developed, obsorbed, and retained over time. This is a fantastic resource for your organization which can....

What is a 'Location Strategy'?

Sounds like a buzzword.
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Yeah, it is, So? The point of buzzwords are to create buzz around a specific topic or idea. 

Therefore; The idea of conceptualizing your organization's Location Strategy is to get you to think about location. Some of the worst business advice is given by Hollywood; "If you build it, They (he) will come". Not necessarily.  Here's some questions to start you off: 

  • What would happen if you moved your office/business?
  • Is it important to know the location of your employees? 
  • Is it important that they know where your inventory (Stuff) is?
  • Do YOU know where your inventory is? How about your replacement?
  • Can your clients get to you? 
  • What about social media?
  • How close are you to your most valuable clients?
  • Are you causing your clients frustration because you haven't though about this?

Let me give you two examples

1. Bob the Restauranteur, He makes truly awesome Pizza, but never gave a thought to location. So he opened up his shop in his hometown. He has a short commute but he drives an hour everyday to get fresh ingredients. His little town already has two pizza places, but he has low-overhead, so he stays. He has a great website, but it's not mobile enabled. His kid brother is the delivery man, who seems to deliver a lot of pizzas to his friends outside town. Yelp had a few bad reviews of Bob's delivering brother.  Bob lasted 9 months then went out of business. 
2. Sue the City Administrator, works in the same town as Bob. But she HAS thought about Location, a lot. Infact she regularly updates her digital infrastructure (GIS) on an iPad when sewers get fixed or installed. She also keeps up with her field folks sending them paperless work-orders based on a mobile-enabled app from the general public, which are her 'customers'. She has claimed the locations of city hall on Bing and Google maps, Yelp, Foursquare, and a host of other social media. Sue is 63 and almost ready to retire, so she's training the current public works director to do all of this and sends him to lots of conferences. 
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A good location strategy is beneficial to you presently and those around you in the future. With these little self-aware computers we all have in our pockets, location is common. Someone will think about your location if you don't. My advice to you is get in front of the tide. Think of some of the most effective companies; Walgreens, McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Casey's General Stores. These guys know the value of a good strategy. Location, Location, Location.