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Digital Transformation: How geospatial data is helping tech-savvy organisations save time and money

Getmapping CEO Dave Horner discusses why organisations should accelerate their digital transformation strategies, especially during the current time of economic uncertainty, as geospatial data increases productivity and reduces the cost of doing business.

5cm CityView image, London Waterloo

These are turbulent times for most organisations. According to the latest forecast from the British Chamber of Commerce, whilst the UK economy is expected to narrowly avoid a technical recession, it will still shrink by 0.3% in 2023, before only returning to growth in 2024.

Against this backdrop, many businesses are looking to tighten their belts for the foreseeable future, and as a result, some are looking at shelving their digital transformation strategies as they reach instead for their tin hats to “ride out the predicted storm”.

But according to many leading business consultancies, companies should actually be doing the opposite and looking to accelerate their digital transformation strategies, not park them. They advise that companies can better protect themselves against the impact of a recession by leveraging digital transformation to reduce the cost of doing business today.

Geospatial is playing a key role in this transformation. Switching to using a digital representation of the built environment is one of the key ways in which organisations are using digital transformation proactively to deliver these goals – namely helping to reduce the need for onsite visits and associated time and costs, whilst increasing productivity in the process.

As a result, a wide range of flexible, geospatial rich solutions are now coming to market to help organisations do much more for less, without having to invest up front. These include a plethora of new geospatial platforms and new, higher resolution content on demand services.

Why is Geospatial becoming so important?

One of the few positive impacts of the pandemic has been the acceleration of new technology adoption, as companies rushed to enable remote working. Amongst these are a range of solutions that leverage the power of geospatial data to undertake more site analysis work remotely on the desktop, and thus reduce the requirement for time-consuming and expensive site visits.

5cm CityView image, sewage works in Leeds

Post-pandemic, many of the positive benefits of remote working have been retained, including the wider adoption of geospatial data. So where in the past geospatial datasets were generally only accessed by GIS specialists, we are now seeing an accelerated move towards platforms that make data easily accessible for use across multiple industries and user requirements.

Geospatial data is a powerful tool that has revolutionised the way we interact with the world, and by leveraging its power, organisations can gain greater insights into our environment, understand the relationships between different assets and features, and make informed decisions about how to best deploy resources. All without leaving their homes and offices.

One example is in the property space, where a wide range of organisations from different business sectors share a common need – namely to manage and maintain their property assets. Some are owner/managers of properties such as major supermarket chains, whilst others are landlords for commercial and/or residential holdings, or businesses that provide property services such as insurance and valuations.

5cm CityView image, major retail store, Whitby

As they start to leverage geospatial as part of their workflows, these organisations are all noticing a significant reduction in costs and an increase in productivity. Geospatial platforms that deliver high resolution aerial imagery such as Getmapping’s NationalView (12.5cm imagery) and CityView (5cm imagery) are being used to undertake initial site assessments, plan projects and share key information with stakeholders and contractors.

Initial assessment work is undertaken either in the client’s existing proprietary software, accessing imagery via high-speed data feeds, or by leveraging cloud based software such as SmartView, software specifically designed to incorporate easy access to geospatial data within a project workflow.

If more detailed follow up data is required, then a detailed mobile mapping survey at ground level can provide the next level of detail, still without having to leave your chair. Or if the need is for a continuous stream, then new smart camera solutions leveraging clean power and mobile connectivity can deliver continuous real-time imagery. By deploying powerful AI algorithms, users can create insight on demand at the touch of a button. The combination of geospatial data and artificial intelligence is rapidly creating powerful business intelligence and insight for tech savvy organisations.

Take a different approach to digital transformation

The World is rapidly realising that rather than approaching digital transformation as an expensive new technology purchase that needs to be funded from an already under pressure R&D budget, it can actually be funded directly from the cost saving to their organisation, and therefore directly from existing Opex budgets.

By adopting geospatial technology to do so much more on the desktop than in the field, we are helping organisations to be much more productive, save on expensive and timely site visits, and of course help deliver their carbon reduction plans into the bargain.

But best of all, many organisations aren’t having to access any new funding to do it. It is paying for itself from the cost savings it delivers. With the launch of subscription-based services, providing easy access to the right information, delivered in the right way, organisations can now avoid the need for expensive capex up front and receive a tailored financial solution that matches their geospatial subscription costs to their Opex savings, delivering a financial benefit from day one.

For more information on how your organisation might leverage the power of geospatial to do more for less, contact Getmapping’s team of geospatial consultants to start a no-obligation conversation today.

Dave Horner, Group CEO, Getmapping

Dave heads up the Getmapping Group and is focused on building sustainable growth through long term strategic partnerships that deliver value to our clients, our partners and our supply chain globally.

He has worked in the geomatics industry for over twenty five years and has a wealth of practical experience, having worked as a technical specialist, before stepping up into various management positions and becoming the Group CEO 10 years ago. He has seen at first hand the huge change of focus in the sector from being a niche industry to becoming recognised as a key enabler across most market sectors.

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