Driving Platform Adoption with Admin Tools for ArcGIS Online

As most of you are aware, we recently launched an update to our Admin Tools for ArcGIS Online (Admin Tools V 1.0.12) on the ArcGIS Marketplace.  We’ve been getting some good traction and truly appreciate all the feedback from our vibrant and passionate user community.  As we plan for future updates and additions to the tools we’d like to recap & share thoughts on the vision for the application as provided by our own VP of Enterprise Operations, Jeremy Weber (@jeremyhweber)

product adoption curve

Our team at GEO-Jobe has been pushing the envelope with ArcGIS Online since its release in 2012.  This work includes launching organizations, configuring maps/apps and extending the platform via custom apps.  Through this work we’ve noticed patterns for successfully scaling ArcGIS Online across organizations and ultimately driving adoption of the ArcGIS Platform.  An interesting way to look at these patterns is by grouping them into the following growth phases.

  1. Build (Framework)
    • Creating a well-thought-out group and user role structure (that mirrors how you do business) establishes a content framework that supports your organization
    • Esri is supporting this process through the creation of industry standard “Model Organizations” that act as a great starting point
  2. Create (Maps & Apps)
    • With a framework in place, focus shifts to creating focused web maps and applications that deliver the value of GIS to users within your organization
    • We’ve found that a lot of casual user needs can be met with out-of-the-box configurations of ArcGIS Online and its various apps.
    • The more users iterate in this phase, the more industry specific use cases of the Platform emerge.  Esri showcases a lot of these on their solutions site.
  3. Manage (Content)
    • As maps, apps, users, etc. grow within your organization, the more content you have to manage
    • An effective content management strategy ensures your organization can continue to scale and you don’t experience a bottleneck in this phase

As these patterns emerged, we analyzed them to identify points in which productivity slows.  These points represent additional time required for users and reduced profit margins for consultants.  Either way, the current patterns were not as efficient as they could be and were slowing the rate of adoption.  Admin Tools aims to streamline these processes, a few examples of which are outlined below.

  1. Build (Framework)
    • Rather than manually creating model organization groups, user roles, etc., users can now do this in a few clicks
    • Admin Tools will support automated creation of both Esri model organization and custom model organization content
    • The list of Esri model organizations supported with the 1.1 release will be limited, but this list will grow based on market demand
  2. Create (Maps & Apps)
    • While many user needs can be met with out of the box configurations of ArcGIS Online, the process of creating these configurations can be time consuming (for end-users and consultants)
    • Admin Tools will support automated creation of both Esri solution configurations and custom configurations designed by end-users and/or consultants.
      • Think, “Huh, that hydrant inspection Collector configuration looks interesting…”
      • With a few clicks in Admin Tools, the content supporting this configuration exists within your org and is ready to tweak, share, etc….
    • This will save administrators time on the front-end and allow for more time training end-users on how to integrate these maps/apps into their daily operations
    • Because the list of Esri solutions is so large, the 1.1 release will focus on automated creation (i.e. Cloning) of custom configurations
    • Support for Esri solutions will be based on market demand, so let us know what you want!!!
  3. Manage (Content)
    • Organizations are not static which means a platform configured to support you now will need to evolve as the organization evolves
    • Updating large amounts of content as users come/go, tagging schemes change, etc. can be very time consuming and slow growth
    • Admin Tools, even in the FREE version, exposes many bulk action tools designed to streamline these ongoing content management operations

Our vision is to equip both end-users and business partners with a suite of tools that save time/money, but most importantly, accelerate the process of delivering the value of GIS across the organization (i.e. Drive Platform Adoption).  So, get the FREE version of the app today and take it for a spin.  When you’re ready to take your org to the next level, upgrade to PRO and unlock all the tools!  One of which is the ability to clone your entire organization.  Yep, I said the entire org!

We’re also excited to announce that these benefits are also available to users of Portal for ArcGIS.  If you have any questions about Admin Tools or have feedback, please let us know your thoughts via email (admintools@geo-jobe.com), comments on this post or the ” Request a Tool or Report a Bug” link within the app itself.

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GEOspatial Evangelist & CMO

Geographer, GIS professional, writer, and fan of all things mobile.

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