In conjunction with the Annual Board of Directors meeting on November
6th MGP has authored the "2009 Annual Board of Directors Report." The
document outlines the cost savings of the GISC model. The mission of the
GIS Consortium (GISC) is to create value for its members by identifying
opportunities to minimize cost and risk through collaboration.
A decade of success would typically be a time to celebrate, however
it comes at a time of considerable economic distress. It does remind us
however of the relevance of this model. This year (2009) was a year of
reflection and refocusing of the objectives of the GIS Consortium. In
March of this year, the Board conducted a special meeting to evaluate
all aspects of the GIS Consortium. This four-hour session generated a
number of initiatives present in this report. These include greater
flexibility for existing members, an independent software audit to
identify opportunities for more efficient licensing, and increased
attention to cooperative opportunities with other regional GIS
Mapping (GIS) is a core competency of local government. We depend on
it to deliver services, manage infrastructure, and regulate property. As
technology evolves, advanced mapping solutions play a critical role in
managing our communities. They help us make better decisions, operate
our organizations more efficiently, and communicate information more
effectively. This year the GISC published the second-edition of ‘Valuing
Geographic Information System (GIS) – A Decision Maker’s Perspective’.
This new publication revisits the assumptions of the first-edition and
adds new business processes that benefit from GIS technology. The
results indicate that local government can save considerable resources
with a well implement GIS program. This document does not include the
savings provided by the GIS Consortium model.
In the beginning there were skeptics of the GISC model – today few
detractors remain. The model has demonstrated its ability to provide
sophisticated solutions at a fraction of the cost of internally-staffed
or single-payer/vendor outsourcing programs. It does this by creating
purchasing power for its members through economies-of-scale. Today the
GISC provides much more including shared product development, community
networking opportunities, and standard processes.
Last year (2008) marked the single largest membership growth period
for the GISC – it was projected that 2009 would be similar. This
forecast however was impacted by the current economic environment. Even
with the downturn the GISC maintained all its existing members and has
never lost a member in its history. The GISC has traditionally focused
its message to prospects on the cost-savings provided by the consortium
model. Although this remains an important component, perhaps more
important is the efficiency GIS provides local government. The
technology benefit coupled with the GISC approach is a compelling case
study for new membership development.
The GISC is recognized as a strategic partner in the greater-Chicago
regional GIS industry. Organizations that share our values of efficiency
and cooperation are seeking our advice. This could not come at a better
time, as we all face new challenges in these economic times. The GISC
stands as a symbol of what the future may look like in local government.