Is there a good resource of common table of organizations for large businesses?

04-17-2020 11:02 AM
New Contributor

Hopefully this the correct place to post this. If not please let me know of a better place. Thanks.


I am trying to find a resource showing how a large business should structure their staff, i.e. who should be in charge of database management, app creation (collector/survey123/quick capture), web apps/maps, dashboards, story maps, data collection, etc. 

I found these resources from ESRI: 

but they are from 2004 and 1997, respectively. But I was hoping to find something more up to date.


I am guess I am looking for something that says an IT department completes/manages these roles, a GIS analyst completes/manages these roles, a field worker completes/manages these roles. I hope that helps clarify my question. 


If you have a good resource or an example for how an organization should organize user roles it would be extremely helpful. 

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2 Replies
Occasional Contributor III

Hey Anthony Mosinski‌,

I don't have any documents for you but I do have experience with running GIS in small and larger organizations. As technologies change we are in this sort of grey zone where GIS administrators are required to have a lot more understanding of IT concepts than previous. This is largely due to cloud technologies meaning everyone needs to be full stack administrators.

Smaller organizations often use ArcGIS online as they don't have to worry about the underlying IT infrastructure. It is quite quick to get up and running. Normally in these size organizations you have just GIS analysts as they aren't quite at a size where it is worth bringing on more specialized support GIS staff. These types of organizations often have between 1-5 analysts and depending on how long they have had ArcGIS online for can have some rather organically grown data structures. Depending on the work load I would often recommend that each of those people start to specialise in a different aspect of GIS to help grow the capacity and to increase efficiencies in the team. This would mean one person start looking at data structure and one focus on capability improvement (new technologies or different ways of displaying data). Obviously this would change based on team size, skill sets and the staffs future career goals.

In larger organizations you would generally start to see teams of 10 or so with a clear split in team responsibilities. You would often have GIS analysts either as a centralized team taking requirements from the whole agency or embedded in various teams around the agency. Depending on the amount of GIS the agency does or the need for its GIS capabilities I have run a team with a dedicated GIS Enterprise Database expert, a GIS Server Administrator, a Fieldworker Administrator (Survey123, collector, quick capture, etc) and a Cloud Administrator/IT Administrator.

Generally IT is separated from GIS however there is often a tight coupling between the two teams. Generally I would suggest that IT deal with things such as provisioning machines, patching Operating Systems, virus scanning, vulnerability patching, networking, firewalls, backups(snapshots), etc. A GIS Administrator would look at things like installing the software with the permission of IT, configuring it, data management best practices, software updates and upgrades. For databases I would again recommend that IT deals with the creation of databases, upgrade of databases and backups of databases and that a GIS Enterprise database administrator only deals with the spatial components such as implementing the Enterprise geodatabase, upgrading the enterprise geodatabase and configuring tables and permissions related to the Enterprise Geodatabase. Your GIS Analysts would be working primarily with the GIS administrators to get help in sourcing data (not duplicating it!) and ensuring the end product or report is delivered to the client in an appropriate fashion (pdf report, web map, application, storymap, etc)

Happy to discuss more if you would like! I'll put this on the other question you asked as well in case one generates a discussion.



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New Contributor

Thank you so much for all this detail! Currently, in our 1 department we have about 50+ arcgis users all using collector and survey123 to collect field data (there are 5 departments all with varying counts of users). We then have 2 IT staff that are in charge of all GIS apps and database management for 1000s of employees. 


Our current process is: If one of our AGOL users would like an app built for their project they have to call IT, describe the project (takes 1 day), have them build what they interpreted (takes 3+ weeks with all their workload), then has the requester test it and check for edits (takes 1 day), then the requester will either notify them it needs corrections (3-5 days) and then the work is published. So the entire process from the request to the final product usually takes 3+ weeks and has alot of emails and phone calls. The only GIS permissions anyone has outside of the 2 IT staff are editing data that IT has shared on AGOL and mapping and editing data in ArcDesktop (still no access to Pro). 


We are hoping to restructure so there is 1 GIS person (obviously with the expertise in GIS and their respective department) in each department that can create these apps/maps/dashboards/etc. The thought behind that is IT is an expert in their field and our department is an expert in our field, but having IT build something that they are not experts in nor ever go to the field to use or test these apps, is a struggle to communicate exactly what we need. So if we have designated staff from each department that already are experts in their field as well as have the GIS expertise to create the apps needed to complete the jobs we will have faster turn around times from design to field use, as well as more accurate and appropriate for the situations.


However, we are having alot of backlash/resistance from IT and other departments to have this change. So my thought was to see how other large organizations are structured and hopefully be able to grow our GIS in our organization the correct way. So I appreciate your feedback.

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