Recently published in ArcNews, Esri outlined how ArcGIS is a system of engagement. Geoffrey A. Moore, the author of the best seller Crossing the Chasm, is attributed with first articulating the concept of system of engagement. A core premise of system of engagement is that ubiquitous Internet access, mobile computing, and consumerization of IT (innovation arising in the consumer market sets the expectations for end users of business and governmental enterprise systems) are the drivers for change. The “digital generation” desires easy and intuitive access anytime, anywhere. This is easily seen with the demand for iOS and Android apps.
The traditional enterprise system is a repository of authoritative data, or system of record, that supports an organization’s critical business processes. Moore makes an important distinction that system of engagement does not replace or make obsolete a system of record. Rather, his emphasis is that system of engagement “overlays and complements” an organization’s investment in a system of record driven by web-based access, usability (ease of use), and collaboration (openness). Esri makes the same important distinction. “The ArcGIS platform is in a unique position: it is both a system of record and a system of engagement.” With ArcGIS, Cityworks becomes both a system of record and a system of engagement for public asset management.