WALIS 2013: To Cloud or not to Cloud? That is the question

Amristar – WALIS Veteran looking forward to WALIS 2013

Amristar is a regular exhibitor at the WALIS Forum in Western Australia. At each forum, we look forward to seeing the latest trends in GIS. At previous events, we’ve witnessed the emergence of Web, Mashups, Cloud. So what’s next? Arguably, the biggest trend at the moment is Software as a Service (SaaS). The attractions are obvious: eliminate the pains of infrastructure hassles, server procurement, IT overheads, base data, license costs and such. Just pay a subscription fee, login and start working.

The question is, how much GIS capability can be delivered by SaaS? To make complex things simple is the holy grail of software engineering, and perhaps even more so of GIS. Amristar fully embraces this principle, which has been a key driver in moving our mapping and spatial data delivery technologies to a new SaaS offering in Mapworx360. (sneak previews are available at WALIS)

Simplification through Reduction

To organisations daunted by the cost and complexity of traditional Enterprise GIS and web-map applications, simple low-cost solutions can be very attractive. And for many situations it works. Unfortunately, some things get lost in translation and may struggle with the shift to SaaS. In striving for ‘simple’, we need to take care not to lose capability on key essentials, e.g., not knowing where data comes from does not mean you can ignore how it is managed or whether it is current or not. Likewise, an inability to customize may mean your organisation needs to adapt its processes to suit the technology – a move away from having technology support your processes.

Simple Sells. But to what extent can Enterprise GIS be generalised?

Our audience for Mapworx360 is map creators and organisations which require basic to intermediate GIS capability, at a low cost, without the need to worry about base data or GIS infrastructure. But we also know the limitations of Cloud GIS platforms; if you require advanced analysis, complex data processing, close integration with existing internal systems, and heavily customised functionality to enable your internal processes, then a one-size-fits-all Cloud solution is possibly not for you.

Is Cloud a good fit for you?

Come by our booth at WALIS. We’d be delighted to talk to you and explore your needs, and have the opportunity to show you our On-Premise and Cloud offerings in Web-Mapping and Spatial Data logistics. And for those of you wondering how to incorporate SLIP Future into your business GIS applications, our Google (GME) integration may be of interest.