County governments have become increasingly data driven with their innovations in predictive analytics, mobility, and their desire to open data to the public in order to improve everything from public safety to healthcare services, and even traffic congestion. This year’s digital counties survey from eRepublic’s Center for Digital Government assesses how effective America’s counties are in issuing technology to deliver services and guide internal operations. And, as it turns out, the country’s top data driven counties are not leading the way just by introducing the newest technologies, but by knowing when and how to introduce IT changes within their organizations.
The survey found a few counties that stood out above the rest in terms of their effectiveness with their use of technology today. Here’s a breakdown from GovTech of the counties that earned top spots in their population categories:
King County, Washington
King County, Washington is no stranger to innovative approaches in technology. In recent years, the county has had to manage data growth by 50% with an unreliable IT infrastructure. King County made the decision to move to the cloud, leveraging NetApp AltaVault cloud-integrated storage, in turn avoiding $1 million in refresh costs. This year, the county was recognized for its strategic approach to government IT. Their efforts to tie everything back to the big picture IT strategy have resulted in better efficiencies and a more deliberate deployment of necessary tools. Despite the Digital Counties recognition, the CIO said they still have their eyes turned to the big-picture issues such as cybersecurity and the growing demand for data services.
Westchester County, New York
Westchester County, New York, is known for its resourceful and thoughtful use of technology to help eliminate duplicative processes. By creating efficiencies and implementing new solutions, CIO John McCaffrey said his IT staff has become the trusted voice when it comes to the best way get services to the citizens. Occasionally, he says, this process doesn’t require new technology at all, just a new way to use it. In the future, the county hopes to expand their use of data to make informed decisions.
Douglas County, Colorado
Douglas County, Colorado has consistently delivered powerful and relevant tools to the hands of their department customers. But the real reason they received the top spot in the Digital Counties Survey is because of their efforts in breaking down the barriers between departments and neighboring county partners, especially with regards to public safety. Moving forward, Senior IT Manager Craig Vacura said the county is looking to continue its work with GIS and building what he calls a “fundamental base” for new applications, but they also will be continuing efforts to look deeper into the capabilities of predictive analytics.
Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County, Virginia, took first place in their population category for the second year in a row. From mobility and learning to wellness and livelihood, community engagement is central to mapping the course for county CIO Jack Belcher’s organization. When it comes to leadership, the buy-in and engagement, as well as a realistic perspective on tech from an investment review board, has garnered a trust-based relationship between IT and decision-makers.
Albermarle County, Virginia
Albemarle County, Virginia, was commended for its continued efforts to improve transparency and public access to data as well as efforts to build a better relationship with the public it serves. Albemarle County launched numerous cybersecurity programs following an extensive security audit and recently completed the first community telecommunications plan in partnership with broadband providers, public safety, fire, schools and the courthouse.