GeoPDF is an “and” technology. That is, it is complementary and generally enhances related technologies rather than replace them. Spices are “and” technologies. Buying paprika doesn’t replace the cumin on your spice rack, but rather allows you more options for preparing different recipes. However, consider something like operating systems. These are often “or” technologies. Your enterprise (even if the “enterprise” is just you) IT costs, efforts, and headaches increase substantially with each additional platform you add to your supported platforms. Add to this application support on the different operating systems, and things get complicated fast. Compare this to GeoPDF. If anything, GeoPDF can make things less complicated and more accessible.
Consider the case of a long-time customer and friend of ours who makes a wide variety of geographical and geophysical analysis products for his customers. By this, I mean physical paper maps, models, data sets, ArcGIS settings and configurations, etc. However, he includes GeoPDF versions of the maps as well. Why? Because his customers love them. They don’t replace anything, rather, they add and enhance accessibility to all of the work, analysis, and data aggregation he has performed for his customers. That is, if you need a paper map, you need a paper map. If you need to have ArcGIS configured just so, you need to have ArcGIS configured just so. If you need to present real-time analysis and information in a web application, you need to present real-time analysis and information in a web application. However, it is so very often the case that people just want to see the analysis laid out on a map, figure out what’s what, and search for what they’re looking for, and so very often GeoPDF is a perfect “and” technology that allows them to do so without adding much cost or complexity for the solution provider.