Information Technology Strategic Plan for Department of Information Services

Full text


Rockingham County North Carolina


Technology Strategic

Plan for 2010-2013


Executive Summary ... 2

Strategic Planning Process ... 3

The Information Services Department ... 5

Department of Information Services Vision and Mission: ...5

Organizational Structure ...6

Support Functions and Services ...7

Assessment of the Information Services Department ... 9

Information Services SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) ...9

Information Technology Strategic Detail ... 11

Goals, Objectives, Actions and Key Performance Indicators ... 12

Timelines and Roadmaps... 21

Project Timeline (projects ongoing without date of completion and/or potential budget constraints represented with arrow) ... 23


Executive Summary

As most private and public sector organizations over the past few years, Rockingham County has felt the effects of a lasting economic downturn. Although the economy fluctuates, the ever increasing demands for information technology continue to evolve and grow within all industry almost exponentially at an unsustainable pace. Along with the exponential growth there is overwhelming pressure on IT departments to rapidly deliver information and systems that are secure, stable and efficient.

One does not have to look very far to see the impact and role information technology plays in both our personal and professional lives. Although the economic impact on Rockingham County has been dismal, the rate of technological change and requirements has not slowed. In fact, it is times such as this that organizations realize the potential impact and role technology can play in improving efficiency and performance.

The need for strategic direction in information technology is imperative for Rockingham County to meet the expectations from county staff, constituents, citizens and the business community who depend on the services provided by Rockingham County.

This document serves as the Rockingham County Information Technology Strategic Plan and is part of an iterative process that will assist in guiding the action, direction and focus of the Information Services Department. This document can in no way be all inclusive or cover every possible aspect of information technology in the County. Beginning in 2010 this document will be reviewed, updated and maintained on a yearly basis in order to proactively address the inevitable change of information technology and our

environment. Information Technology changes at an alarming pace; therefore the IT Strategic Plan will continually change as priorities and county direction changes targeted for a time frame of roughly 24 to 36 months.

The IT Strategic Plan will communicate the vision, mission and values of the Information Services department and outline specific direction and action to support the vision and mission. A broad range of goals, objectives and initiatives will be listed to support the internal and external county governmental functions. The intent is that this plan remains strategic and accomplishes alignment with all organizational goals and strategic plans pertaining to Rockingham County.


Strategic Planning Process

When initially beginning the research and process of gathering data in regards to the current state of technology in the County it was evident that a strategic direction needed to exist. Using this research and ongoing findings this document serves as the first information technology strategic plan for Rockingham County. The process and methodology of this plan was born out of a fairly straight forward approach. The basic methodology in developing this plan is briefly outlined as follows:

 Determine the current state of technology from an initial internal study.  Determine the perception and state of technology according to employees,

departments and other internal and external resources.

 Gather data from various resources to gain an understanding of critical business functions and operational needs.

 Perform a basic gap analysis of “where we are” and “where we need to be”.  Create a plan and set direction to close gaps addressing the most critical business

needs and requirements first.

As we move forward with the strategic plan the process will change and become more integrated with yearly planning activities of the leadership and departmental planning processes similar to the model shown below in figure 1. One of the goals of this plan will be to implement an Information Technology Steering Committee that will assist in the planning and direction of future technology needs of Rockingham County.

Figure 1 Leadership & Commissioners Input - Strategies Information Technology Strategic Plan IS Dept. Input/Strategies & Direction Department Input - Strategies


Rockingham County Vision and Mission Vision

Rockingham County will promote a safe and caring environment, educational excellence and economic opportunity to empower our citizens to pursue a high quality of life, while preserving our rural character.


Rockingham County will partner with our diverse community to ensure the provision of essential services equitably, efficiently, and effectively, in order to improve the quality of life for its citizens.


The Information Technology Services Department

The Information Services Department serves as a critical support function for all

Rockingham County Government organizations, committee’s, partners, departments and employees. The department provides many vital technology related services that are critical to the county on many levels but at the core is customer service through maintaining, planning, implementing and advising on all matters of information technology.

Department of Information Technology Services Vision and Mission:

Vision: That we operate as a strategic partner to all county personnel by focusing on customer service through providing IT solutions and services that are proactive, timely and efficient.

Mission: We will provide technological leadership and strategic planning to ensure the effective management and implementation of all County information technology

operations and services. We will partner with all personnel to provide ongoing improvement of services to the citizens of Rockingham County.

Values, Principles, Commitment

We will use our values individually and as a team to support our vision, mission and daily operation and interaction with employees, departments and citizens of Rockingham County. Our values, principles and commitment are as follows:



We will treat our customers and our team members with respect, dignity and understanding as we partner to serve the citizens of Rockingham County.


We will use information technology in an ethical, open and

honest approach.


We will strive every day to make the most efficient and effective

use of the resources and funds we have available.


We will hold ourselves accountable to provide the information

technology solutions and services our customers need by measuring and honestly addressing performance shortfalls.


We will provide information technology solutions and services in

a timely manner to the best of our ability prioritizing requests and needs as they arrive.


Organizational Structure

The Department of Information Services is headed by the Director of Information Services who reports directly to the Finance Director/Assistant County Manager. The organizational chart in figure 2 below briefly outlines the roles and responsibilities along with reporting structure within the department:

David Whicker, IS Director Kim Wallace, System Administrator Elliott Benton, System Analyst II Rick Wall, Application Specialist Jim Sauser, System Analyst I Tina McCorkle, System Analyst Gary Melvin, GIS Coordinator Eric Belton GIS Tech Lore Moore GIS Tech Figure 2


Expectations of Information Services

The ITS Department is expected to provide services to the county and all its related entities in order to aid in the effective delivery of Information according to the business needs. There are four main areas of service that the department provides on several different levels listed briefly as follows:

Support Functions and Services

The department is responsible for all information technology maintenance, planning, initiatives, service and support for internal and external customers of Rockingham County Government. The list shown in figure 3 below outlines the core technology and services provided and supported by the department:

Application and Desktop

 File/Print Services  Office Applications  Email/Collaboration  Application Maintenance and Support  Hardware maintenance, support and agreements  Lifecycle and refresh  Managed Desktop Services  Patches, revisions and


 Provide 24x7 helpdesk support


 Wintel and i5/OS 400 Server architecture

 SAN and Attached Storage  Disaster Recovery related

services – UPS/Generator  Structured Cabling (private

fiber and CAT5/6)


 LAN/WAN Operation and


 Network Engineering and Design

 Internet Access –

bandwidth monitoring and management


 Mgmt of Toll Services  Mobile Phones and PDA’s

Project Management

 Guidance, Planning, Design and Implementation Security  Firewall  System account management – Active Directory & i5  VPN Connectivity and Support  Security access internally/externally Governance  Standard Operating Procedures

 Budget and financial planning  Best Practices, standardization and implementation  HIPPA Compliance  Security policies/procedures  IT Contract Approval and

Oversight  Maintain license

subscriptions, inventories and compliance


Support Function Details

The services and support outlined in figure 3 are provided to all departments and

employees of Rockingham County including, but not limited to, County Commissioners, Administration, Legal, Finance, Tax, Public Health, Environmental Health, Department of Social Services, Planning and Inspections, Engineering Services, Economic

Development, Sheriff and Law Enforcement, Emergency Services (911, EMS, Fire), Board of Elections, Register of Deeds, GIS, and Maintenance.

The information technology involved and required to support these departments, employees and functions consist of:

 Support for 650 full-time employees and 250 part-time employees of Rockingham County for a total of 900 end users in various capacities.

 Over 30 Wintel, Cisco IP Telephony and i5/OS400 based servers and/or associated equipment

 Over 80 network type devices including routers, switches and wireless access points

 Support for 535 Cisco VoIP telephony phone sets after the entire VoIP project/migration which is 25% completed at this time.

 Over 525 Workstations (PC’s and Laptops)

 Over 50 mobile devices including Smartphone’s & PDA’s

 75 or more business related applications for various departments and employees including the mission critical applications such as Sunguard/H.T.E/CAD for our financial, personnel, tax and LEC and 911 departments.

o Included in this list are the more well-known office and protection type applications including Microsoft Office, Adobe, Trend-Micro, etc.


Assessment of the Information Services


There are several opportunities for improvements and changes in regards to the current state of information technology in Rockingham County Government. Several factors have been considered such as a weak economy, budgets, knowledge and skills, an aging workforce, and many other variables which have been compounded over the past few years contributing to our current situation.

In order to better understand the “current state” of information technology as a county we have to examine where we are, where we are going and how we are going to get there. Therefore a SWOT analysis of the Information Services Department overall was needed to position ourselves and start to move in the right direction. The findings of the analysis are listed as follows:

Information Services SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)


We will build on the strengths we do have building a foundation that will allow us to move ahead in information technology. Some of the key strengths are as follows:

 Recognition of our current status and a willingness and openness of county leadership, employees and the IS department to “move ahead” in technology  A mixed staff with experience and understanding of business and technology

from both private and public sector organizations  Strong work ethic

 New team members with new ideas and a fresh set of eyes


Rockingham County is currently faced with weaknesses that exist both within and outside of the department. There are several rudimentary technology and best practices not in place that are critical to move to the next level and utilize information technology at its fullest. It is important that these weaknesses are transparent and communicated which are listed as follows:

 Governance of information technology including standard operating procedures and policies internally and externally to the department

 Knowledge and skill set both internally and externally to the department  Inadequate cross-training and operating under tradition or “tribal knowledge”  Operating in silo’s internally and externally to the department


 Budgetary limits and economic factors in funding critical infrastructure and technology

 Reactive instead of proactive

 Communication within the department and to other departments and employees  Small staff and limited resources to support ever increasing information

technology needs

 No disaster recovery plan or procedures

 Legacy applications and systems, some no longer supported or maintenance available


 Training funds for Information Services

 Moving from silos to partnerships with several departments

 Funding to build core services and infrastructure as well as datacenter functionality to drive down TCO and increase reliability


 Limited knowledge and skills needed to implement new technologies and improve on current infrastructure

 Departmental versus county perspective when utilizing and deploying technology  Customized applications, reporting and functionality creates reliance on outside

contractors and former employees

 Several applications providing the same functionality duplicated through the county

 No disaster preparedness or documented procedures  No documentation of legacy systems and software  No change management system in place

 Weak LAN/WAN security

 Weak desktop and infrastructure security


Information Technology Strategic Detail

Based on the SWOT analysis of the ITS department and county in regards to information technology it is logical to conclude that there is room for improvement and a need for strategic direction. The department has been viewed and considered as a support function as is typical and with that we will continue to provide the necessary support and services, “keeping the lights on”, the county requires. But in order to improve and become a strategic partner and asset for Rockingham County we will build on our strengths and begin to strategically focus on improvements; we will move forward proactively and not reactively.

The remainder of this document will address the focus, strategy, details and roadmap on how we will move to the next level in information technology as a department and ultimately a County. The information and strategic direction that follows will be

reviewed yearly and be aligned with all necessary leadership and county strategic plans and direction. Going forward the focus of the department consists of four main strategic categories outlined in figure 4 as follows:


Customer Service and Support

Information Technology


Robust Infrastructure

Figure 4

Efficiency &




Goals, Objectives, Actions and Key Performance Indicators

This section outlines the specific goals, objectives and supporting actions. The goals outlined specifically align with the strategic focus and direction of the department as shown in figure 5 below.

Strategic Focus

Supporting Goal




ciency a

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ice &



GOAL 1: Transform the ITS department into a customer oriented and service driven team.

Objective 1.1 Objective 1.2 Objective 1.3



tion Tech










GOAL 2: Establish and implement information

technology governance consistent with industry standards and best practices guiding the creation of policies and procedures for Rockingham County Government.

Objective 2.1 Objective 2.2

GOAL 3: Effectively manage, maintain and control information technology assets and resources within the County.

Objective 3.1 Objective 3.2

GOAL 4: Provide and facilitate a secure computing environment that allows the access and use of IT resources in Rockingham County.

Objective 4:1

GOAL 5: Create and manage business continuity through effective disaster preparedness and recovery procedures.

Objective 5.1 Objective 5.2






GOAL 6: Design, implement and manage a robust, reliable and adaptable technical environment providing the network, storage, server and other computing resources required for county business.

Objective 6.1 Objective 6.2 Objective 6.3

GOAL 7: Build and maintain a centralized data operations center for Rockingham County Government that provides a secure and cost effective approach to housing all information technology resources.

Objective 7.1 Objective 7.2


The idea is to create alignment and a process flowing from the strategic focus areas into goals and ultimately results illustrated in figure 6 below. The sections that follow include more in depth detail of how we will deliver these results as a department using the

strategic focus area and supporting goals, objectives and actions.




GOAL 1: Transform the ITS department into a customer oriented and service driven team.

Objective 1.1: Increase customer satisfaction through communication and transparency.

Action Progress Timeframe

1.1.1 - Yearly Customer Satisfaction Surveys

First survey performed 11/2010 Annually – Next April of 2011 for fiscal year cycle

1.1.2 - Feedback questionnaires after closure of support tickets to gather data from help desk experience

Need to configure Sysaid ticketing system and test

Anticipated completion and rollout by 02/2011

1.1.3 - Weekly departmental team meetings to improve internal communication

Started in March 2010 Ongoing weekly

Objective 1.2: Clearly define and meet customer expectations. 1.2.1 - Create formal change

management and project management processes and tracking.

Investigating change

management process and project charter and management practices.

Formal process in place and communicated by 05/2011

1.2.2 - Create an IT Steering Committee for Rockingham County

Began investigation and outlining needs, began talks with

leadership team about the need.

Committee members selected by 05/2011 and first meeting held by 07/2011

1.2.3 – Create a routine scheduled procedure with departments on an annual basis in preparation for budgeting and forecasting IT requirements and needs of each area.

New director meet with each department or area director for introductions, discuss direction and understand past history, needs and concerns.

Communicate to each

department director as necessary and begin schedules by 02/2011 in preparation for budgeting of FY11/12

Objective 1.3: Improve customer service skills of the Information Technology Services Department corporately and individually.

1.3.1 – Ongoing quarterly development and training using department readings and other interactive group and individual methods.

First departmental reading book completed, “QBQ – The Question Behind The Question:

What to really ask yourself to eliminate blame, complaining

and procrastination

Ongoing quarterly event

1.3.2 – Track individual interaction and service levels to create accountability and performance improvement

Monthly individual 1-on-1 meetings with each individual team member for feedback and performance review – began scheduling

Routine – monthly, begins in December 2010 and will be documented for tracking and communication



GOAL 2: Establish and implement Information technology governance consistent with industry standards and best practices guiding the creation of policies and procedures for Rockingham County Government.

Objective 2.1: Investigate and implement a framework of IT Governance reviewing industry standards such as CoBIT, ITIL and ISO 20000.

Action Progress Timeframe

2.1.1 – Make a final decision on framework for IT Governance model

Investigating and reviewing available industry standards and practices as they relate to framework

Final framework decision and communication 03/2011

2.1.2 – Complete training and implementation plan for IS Department

Not Started Training plan finalized by


Objective 2.2: Create and publish a central repository for IT guidelines, policies, procedures and standards establishing an oversight and approval process.

2.2.1 – Identify method and/or technology to publish SOP’s and Policies for County Employees

Researching MS SharePoint and current website option

Method and/or technology decision made by 03/2011 with implementation planning starting 2.1.2 – Create or use existing

committee/council for reviewing and approving SOP’s and Policies

Researching options and comparables

Committee/Council in place and communicated by 05/2011


GOAL 3: Effectively manage, maintain and control information technology assets and resources within Rockingham County.

Objective 3.1: Manage and maintain inventories for all information technology assets and resources including the appropriate licensing and maintenance.

Action Progress Timeframe

3.1.1 – Maintain inventory of PC/Server/Laptop for asset management of all county departments

Completed Completed

3.1.2 – Enforce compliance and maintain updated inventory.

Communicated to all departments in October 2010 that inventory was completed and no

information technology was to be moved without consulting the IS Department.

Yearly reinforcement and communication with

departments and employees as well as annual spot checks and updates when needed.

Objective 3.2: Create procedures that facilitate a unified and cost effective approach to the acquisition of information technology.

3.2.1 – Ensure that no information technology is purchased without input and approval from the IS Department

New IS director communicated initially in department meetings and also established a policy delivering to all directors and managers

Continue communication and monitoring

3.2.2 – Ensure that bulk purchasing and unified buying power is utilized in the best interest of the county

Implemented standards for desktops, laptops and monitors in county as well as direct

communication with departments and personnel in regards to purchasing any other information technology

Continue communication and monitoring


GOAL 4: Provide and support a computing environment that allows the secure access and use of IT resources in Rockingham County.

Objective 4.1: Implement appropriate measures that secure information technology and communications for Rockingham County.

Action Progress Timeframe

4.1.1 – Secure LAN/WAN and computing environment via logical design and configuration

 Assessment of security holes internally and externally has been completed. New network design and desktop architecture underway which addresses security concerns outlined in Goal 6.

 Universal user name and password for VPN access was resolved in September 2010.

Once new network design completed major security holes will be prioritized and addressed following formal

implementation and migration planning. Design completion details outlined in section for “Robust Infrastructure”

4.1.2 – Implement acceptable use policy for information technology in Rockingham County for new hires and current employees

Assessed other county and industry policies and began rough draft.

Work with personnel department and have policy in place by 04/2011

4.1.3 – Implement desktop security policies via MS group policy (password, security, permissions, etc)

Planning and implementation underway

Once new desktop infrastructure design completed and migration begins the group policies will be tested and implemented which will address major security holes currently present

4.1.4 – Specific communication to departments and employees around awareness, training, and prevention.

Training programs, guidelines, FAQ’s and other methods of awareness being investigated and reviewed.


GOAL 5: Create and manage business continuity through effective disaster preparedness and recovery.

Objective 5.1: Develop and maintain an effective disaster recovery plan for Rockingham County.

Action Progress Timeframe

5.1.1 – Ensure all departments input on critical applications and business requirements

documented appropriately and accounted for from an information technology standpoint

Have evaluated current systems, hardware and software for backup and recovery planning.

Gather appropriate information from all parties and formulate critical business requirements for preparation of disaster plan rough draft by 08/2011

5.1.2 – Rough draft of disaster recovery plan for Rockingham County in place

 Investigation of options and best practices underway  Offsite backup and

replication site selected along with technology

Rough draft completed and discussed with leadership by 12/2011

Objective 5.2: Manage and maintain data integrity and availability through appropriate backup and restoration systems and procedures.

5.2.1 – Implement effective backup solution for Rockingham County files, folders,

applications, databases, etc.

 Reviewed current backup technologies in place used for data backup/restoration of two major “system categories” – AS400 & Wintel. Purchased new backup hardware and software for Wintel systems.  Backup technology for

AS400 systems remains and being evaluated

New backup software and process in place and operational by 02/2011



GOAL 6: Design, implement and manage a robust, reliable and adaptable technical environment providing the network, storage, server and other computing resources required for Rockingham County Government.

Objective 6.1:Design a LAN/WAN architecture that meet our current needs and requirements allowing for future growth and expansion.

Action Progress Timeframe

6.1.1 – Network design and architecture in place and documented to serve as

foundation for current and future

Network design and architecture completed. Documentation, planning and implementation underway.

Official network design and architecture complete by 12/2010

Objective 6.2:Design a computing environment including storage, server and desktop technologies that will promote efficiency and cost effectiveness.

6.2.1 – Design consolidated server and storage approach moving forward using VMWare and DotHill SAN technology for virtualization.

 New SAN technology decision made and hardware/software purchased with implementation 75% complete.

 VMWare software

purchased with implantation 50% complete.

New virtual environment design completed and documented by 01/2011

6.2.2 – Design new desktop infrastructure using imaging, virtualization and active directory group policy for management.

 Decision to rebuild new Active Directory infrastructure made.  Purchased desktop imaging

software for standardization and rapid deployment  Design of new desktop

infrastructure 25% complete

New design and migration plan for desktop infrastructure completed by 04/2011

6.2.3 – Testing of thin client and virtual desktop for deployment

Investigating options Software and options evaluated and tested with first pilot run completed by 07/2011

Objective 6.3:Effectively plan and implement an affordable approach to migrate the current network and computing environment to the new design.

6.3.1 – Implementation plan and schedule for network migration in place

 BOM completed for new network architecture  Migration planning and

stages underway

Purchase timeline and

implementation plan completed by 12/2011

6.3.2 – Implementation plan and schedule for desktop

infrastructure in place

 Design will need to be fully complete, however, inventory taken of county equipment and replacement planning and scheduling underway.

Migration planning and timeline in place by 07/2011


GOAL 7: Build and maintain a centralized data operations center for Rockingham County Government that provides a secure and cost effective approach to housing all information technology resources.

Objective 7.1:Migrate IT resources from the current decentralized model toward a central and unified model that will allow for more efficient use of budgets and resources.

Action Progress Timeframe

7.1.1 – Communicate with departments and develop specific actions to ensure information technology direction and resources are provided from the IS Department

Discussion and planning with departments that are heavily decentralized completed - ROD, DSS and Library.

Specific centralization and consolidation of services planning for specific

departments will be phased over the next 12 months and planned appropriately.

Objective 7.2:Ensure the data center follows universal standards and best practices for reliability, availability and security compliance.

7.1.1 – Physical security in place with badge access.

Completed Completed 07/2011

7.2.2 – Proper cabling and organization of data center layout at government center

Relocating team members in main data center floor space which will allow for more space and movement of racks and critical cable backbone

Server racks and network backbone relocation and structure will be completed by 01/2011

7.2.3 – Appropriate power and redundancy in place

 Two cooling systems in place for overhead and elevated floor

 New dedicated power for new rack positioning installed 08/2011

 Offsite redundant data center at RCJC

 Current UPS evaluated and measured, power

requirements in room being reallocated and configured appropriately


Timelines and Roadmaps

This section will cover current projects both short-term and long-term and a rough timeline of start to completion that will serve as a guide and information resource of where we are and where we are headed in information technology. There have been many accomplishments this year as well that will be briefly covered in this section as well as specific technology roadmaps that will also serve as a guide and information resource for future direction.

The following two tables highlight briefly major and minor projects that are either completed or underway along with a specific timeline of implementation or completion shown in figure 7 below. The lists and timeline to follow are intended as high level overviews of major projects that have been completed, current and future projects, and a timeframe for informational purposes. This information is not intended to capture all detail and resources put forth or required to complete.

Completed Projects (

February 2010 to Present)

Project Name Status

RCJC Network Design and Build Completed – July 2010

Sheriff/LEC Move to new RCJC Completed – Aug 2010

DSS – Child Services Move Completed – June 2010

County Help Desk Completed – Sept. 2010

Physical Security to Data Room Completed – July 2010

Private Fiber to AG Building Completed – Aug. 2010

Redundant Fiber Loop between Core County Buildings (RCJC, EOC, Gov. Center)

Completed – Sept. 2010

Inventory – Asset Management Completed Oct. 2010

AG, 911, Courthouse – Bandwidth decrease and disconnect for cost savings realized from moves and private fiber


Current and Upcoming Projects

Project Name Status

Animal Shelter – Planning, Design, Implementation

In Progress

Board of Elections – Design, Cabling, Move In Progress

Network Architecture and Design In Progress

AOC/ROD to new RCJC -- planning, preparation and move

In Progress

Structured cabling – Governmental Center In Progress Desktop Infrastructure – Design and


In Progress

VoIP Implementation & Migration – County In Progress

Server/Storage Consolidation In Progress

County Document Imaging System On Hold

OSSI/CAD – New system implementation and migration

Beginning – In Progress

RCJC – Wireless Implementation Not Started

Virtual Infrastructure Design and Build In Progress

Email Collaboration In Progress


Project Timeline (projects ongoing without date of completion and/or potential budget constraints represented with arrow)

Current 2010 – 2011 2012 – 2013 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Figure 7 BOE Move LAN/WAN Design & Architect Private Fiber to Buildings Structured Cable – Gov Center Animal Shelter Cabling, Network, Computing Desktop Infrastructure Design & Planning

Server/Storage Consolidation



Disaster Recovery Planning & Implementation

Data Room Physical Layout &



Legacy systems & application review migrating away from mainframe type environment as feasible/opportunities

Printer Consolidation - Ongoing

Document Imaging Solution – County Wide

IS Budget, Forecast, Alignment - FY12 IS Budget, Forecast, Alignment - FY13 Email Collaboration (MS Exchange – Google Apps)

VoIP Project

Desktop Migration and Implementation

ROD Centralization and Consolidation

Library Centralization & Consolidation


Trends in Information Technology

It is the responsibility of the information services department to stay abreast of new technologies and innovative approaches. With that being said, addressing current and future trends in government and other industries will be an ongoing initiative and part of the overall strategic plan each year.

The overview and topics that follow is in no way exhaustive however it is an attempt to communicate the efforts and actions taken by the department to keep up with the ever changing pace of technology advancement.

Cloud Computing

Brief Overview: Cloud computing has been in the news and made headlines for some time now. The technology promises cost savings, resource availability and expandability on the fly. The most basic description is providing hardware services such as servers, storage and SaaS such as email, ERP, and other business related applications via the internet for delivery of those services.

Status/Position: As part of the email collaboration project there is a Google Apps pilot underway with a small group of select users testing this service. As time progresses cloud computing services will be tested and become more and more available. The IS

department will continue to monitor, benchmark and research services as needed.


Brief Overview: Mobility services such as mobile phones, workstations, applications, etc have been around a while and will continue to become more reliable and affordable. Applications running on mobile hardware such as mobile phones, mobile workstations like in vehicle for EMT and LEC are common forms.

Status/Position: The department currently supports mobile Smartphone’s for email application and document viewing as well as workstations for our EMS vehicles. We are reviewing this type mobility with the LEC related departments as well as testing some remote applications on tablet type workstations and android phones. We will continue to monitor services as they appear and become available.

Social Media

Brief Overview: At a very basic level social media is technology used for social interaction such as Facebook and Twitter, applications that build on the “WEB 2.0” ideology.


finding technologies like Twitter very user friendly and efficient ways to broadcast safety messages and communicate with citizens as well as local municipalities and other

government related agencies. While these technologies can prove to be useful, there is also a security risk which is one primary reason applications like Facebook and MySpace are blocked for personal use on county equipment internally.

Desktop Virtualization

Brief Overview: Virtualization in its simplest form allows software to function as hardware and the best example is having one robust server virtually running five other servers as software acting as hardware reducing the need to purchase more equipment and associated resources. Desktop virtualization is therefore desktops running on a server as software and being delivered in a “thin computing” environment via the network to clients.

Status/Position: We have begun building the virtual environment for servers and storage and will begin testing desktop virtualization within the next three months.


Brief Overview: Hard to imagine anyone that has not heard of the “green movement” but

as it relates to technology it is the proper disposal of equipment, recycling, improved power consumption, etc.

Status/Position: The IS department is continually looking at ways to cut down on power and computing expenses and use these technologies more efficiently which in turn moves toward a “green environment”. There are many facets to “going green” and we have already begun to utilize power and cut down on actual hardware.


Figure 1  Leadership &  Commissioners Input - Strategies  Information Technology  Strategic Plan  IS Dept

Figure 1

Leadership & Commissioners Input - Strategies Information Technology Strategic Plan IS Dept p.4