Computerized geographic information systems (GISs) are emerging as the spatial data handling tools of choice for solving complex geographical problems. However, few guidelines exist for assisting potential users in identifying suitable hardware and software. A process to be followed in evaluating the merits of GIS technology is presented. Related standards and guidelines, software functions, hardware components, and benchmarking are discussed. By making users aware of all aspects of adopting GIS technology, they can decide if GIS is an appropriate tool for their application and, if so, which GIS should be used.