You may have read that headline in a press release at Directions Magazine or elsewhere on the Web. The related sentence in the text reads:
The proof is in a new report from Pike Research. Findings indicate that spending on GIS services, software and tools will increase steadily over the next five years, reaching $3.7 billion in 2017.
A press release from Navigant (which acquired Pike this year) from July reads:
Utility spending on electric utility GIS software and services [emphasis mine] will essentially double from 2011 to 2017, growing from $1.8 billion in 2011 to $3.7 billion in 2017, the market intelligence firm forecasts.
The original source I believe is from a Pike Research press release in April.
I have seen the release referenced several times and want to be sure readers know the overall market numbers are expected to be far larger. For example, see this release from January of this year: Global Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Market to Reach US$10.6 Billion by 2015
I contacted the organization that sent the release and have not heard back.