Powerful Market Forces Transform Structure of the Spatial Information Management Market, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — 01/11/2000 — The wind of change swept through the spatial information management (SIM) market in 1999, leaving a fundamentally changed structure in its aftermath. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the market has split into three distinct segments — geographic information systems (GIS), business support systems (BSS), and personal productivity — and moved away from proprietary systems that support geo-centric applications to open database systems that support mainstream business processes.

"In each segment, basic spatial information handling technology is comparable, but the similarity ends there. Each has its own set of unique user requirements, applications, data, and distribution channels," said Henry Morris, vice president of IDC's Data Warehousing and Information Access research. "Vendors who are successful in one segment generally have a tough time moving to another."

IDC expects revenues in the worldwide SIM market to reach $1.08 billion in 1999, 12.4% more than in 1998. By 2004, the market will reach $2.1 billion. "Looking at the market as a single entity rather than examining each of its segments masks important trends," Morris warned. "The traditional GIS vendors are either growing slowly or declining. On the other hand, vendors who focus on business support systems are growing at rates ranging from 20% to 40%."

Environmental Systems Research has a firm grasp on the market's top position. In 1999, it accounted for more than 24% of the market's worldwide revenues. Intergraph, the second-place vendor, had just over 16%.

Much of the growth in the BSS market is being driven by vendors such as MapInfo, Oracle, and Facet Decision Systems. Oracle's success in the market may incite significant spatial technology sales efforts from IBM, Informix, and Sybase.

Meanwhile vendors in the traditional GIS space like ESRI, Autodesk, SICAD Geomatics, and Smallworld are reorienting their products to better address the requirements of the BSS segment.

IDC recently published 1999 Worldwide Spatial Information Management Markets and Trends (IDC #B21065). This report examines trends in the market, reveals vendors' 1999 worldwide market shares, revenues by region, and forecasts through 2003 segmented by region and operating environment. To order a copy of the report, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 4389 or at ctoffel@idc.com. If you are interested in IDC's Data Warehousing and Information Access research service, contact Pat Duhl at 949-442-4038 or at pduhl@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 42 countries worldwide.

IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of International Data Group , the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.