Benefits of GIS are really palpable

Prashun Dutta, senior executive vice president, IT & quality, Reliance

GIS, inspite of being a very effective tool in distribution business, has
not picked up in India even today. What are the reasons?
The biggest hurdle in GIS adoption is data. GIS needs a good amount of data
to be really useful. And its not that people are not using it. The problem is
that everybody is doing it independently. We need a central repository, a
governing agency to extract maximum utility out of GIS. What is happening now is
that everybody is collecting data independently. There is a lot of duplication
of effort, which a country like ours can not afford.

What are the infrastructure requirements for GIS? And what is the RoI?
To be sure, GIS requires a higher level of infrastructure deployment, which
is slightly more than a standard application. The benefits of GIS are really
visible once the system is completely in place. And these benefits are usually
intangible. The data computation, which takes days and months, can be done in
hours with the assistance of GIS. Other tasks also take a lot less time and man
hours. Benefits of GIS are really palpable once it’s operational.

How is GIS helpful in Diverse Location Management?
GIS is basically a map that communicates with you. It’s a virtual workspace
wherein you do your field jobs on your computer screen. With GIS one shot makes
things work. Multiple trips are not required. GIS eliminates to a large extent,
the uncertainty associated with distribution business. Sitting in one office you
can monitor the activities happening in your workstations across the country.

How does GIS implementation affect fault detection?
With the help of GIS you can figure out the exact location of the fault. It
will also tell you the most vulnerable points for faults to occur in advance.
Once you know the exact location and the magnitude of the fault, you can be
fully equipped to deal with it. GIS eliminates the hit and trial method and
reduces the response time from hours to minutes.

What is the USP of GIS? One reason why you would recommend GIS to every
CIO in the distribution business?
GIS is an application, which can reflect reality. Having the movement of
critical things always on your screen helps in facilitating decisions. GIS is
not a static map but a two-way communication. That I believe is truly the USP of

Mehak Chawla

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