So what is the solution here? Honestly there really isn’t an easy one. While GIS companies seem to be starting to embrace delivering to Salesforce or SAP in addition to Excel or PDF, the inputs are still generally a huge PITA. Yes you can take a JSON file from an API and bring that bad boy in, but the tools built into the software make it almost impossible to work with unless you use something like Safe FME. The transformation from input to output is inelegant because as I said above, GIS tools love being in control of everything. This is why there is no shortage of spatial data formats, every tool creates their own for their own purpose without care of how that data fits within the bigger picture of the organization. ETL does address this problem but it too is complicated. In the age of app store integrations, we’ve seen none of this paradigm with GIS.
There is the possibility that people want to work with raw data, sure. Every time I bring up the idea of hiding raw data I get hate email. But we need to stop thinking like that. Who cares how the data comes into the workflow. If at the end of the day I can go SAP -> Esri Geodatabase without having to lift a finger, that’s a huge win. There is a lot of room to disrupt in this space, but I fear the will is not there.