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IST's Principles

NEEDS-BASED DECISION-MAKING

  • Technology selections and implementations will be based on the business needs of the County.
  • IST will work with County agencies to improve business operations by thoroughly understanding business needs and by planning, implementing, and managing the best information technology solutions available.
  • IT investment decisions will be based upon overall value to the County.  This will include consideration of return on investment, total cost of ownership, and an evaluation and refinement of business processes with respect to best practices before new systems are acquired or major system enhancements are undertaken.

STEWARDSHIP

  • IST will provide vision, leadership, and a framework for evaluating emerging technologies and implementing proven information technology solutions.
  • IST will manage IT as an investment as follows:

    • IST will annually request funds to replace systems, equipment, and infrastructure before life-cycle end.  IST will address project and infrastructure requirements through a multi-year planning and funding strategy.

    • IST will limit resources dedicated to "legacy systems" (hardware and software approaching the end of useful life) and address only essential or mandated changes.  IST will designate systems as "legacy" and schedule their replacement.  This approach will help focus investments on the future.

    • IST will invest in education and training to ensure its employees can effectively and efficiently perform their responsibilities as well as understand and apply current and future technologies.

    • IST will implement contemporary, but proven, technologies.  IST will stay abreast of emerging trends through an ongoing program of technology evaluation.  Where appropriate new technologies will be introduced through pilot projects, allowing both the automation and its business benefits and costs to be evaluated prior to any full-scale adoption.
  • IST will emphasize the purchase and integration of top quality, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software, with minimal customization, to speed the delivery of new business applications.  This will require redesigning some existing work processes to be compatible with purchased packages.
  • Each system will be developed, implemented, maintained, and staffed to ensure the appropriate level of availability, integrity, and confidentiality.
  • IST will guarantee a reliable and secure communication and computer infrastructure foundation on which to efficiently conduct County business operations today and in the future.
  • IST will manage the enterprise network as a fundamental building block of the County's IT architecture. The network will accomplish the following: connect modern workstations and servers; provide both internal and external connectivity; be flexible, expandable, and maintainable; be fully integrated using open standards; and be capable of providing for the free movement of data, graphics, images, video, and voice.
  • IST will maintain a reliable system of maintenance of its various components.
  • IST will encourage the capturing of data once in order to avoid cost, duplication of effort, and potential for error and will facilitate the sharing of data/databases whenever possible and permitted.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS

  • IST will evaluate business processes for redesign opportunities before pursuing automation.  IST will utilize new technologies to make improved business methods a reality.  New technology should integrate with existing technology architecture and be consistent with IST's plans.
  • IST will continually examine best practices of other agencies, governmental entities, and private sector organizations.
  • IST will continually evaluate and improve its own internal processes and methods of providing services.

FLEXIBILITY AND RESPONSIVENESS

  • IST will deliver timely and effective responses to customer requests through teamwork and partnerships with customers.
  • IST will maintain a flexible and responsive IT environment, which is capable of responding to the rapid changes in technology, to meet current and changing business needs.
  • Hardware and software will adhere to open standards and minimize proprietary solutions.  This approach will promote flexibility, inter-operability, cost effectiveness, and mitigate the risk of dependence on individual vendors.

PARTNERSHIPS

  • IST will approach IT undertakings as partnerships, combining the responsibility, knowledge, and expertise of IST, customers, and outside contract support (as required) within a consistent framework of County standards.
  • Strategic partnerships will be established between IST and the customer, so the benefits of IT will be leveraged to maximize the productivity of County employees and improve customer service.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

  • IST will provide ongoing education and awareness of its capabilities, marketing its services to customers.
  • IST will effectively communicate information about plans, projects, and achievements to IST staff and customers.
  • IST will establish clear communication channels for disseminating information, resolving problems, and obtaining continual feedback.

CUSTOMER-CENTERED

  • IST will develop a customer service approach and philosophy.  IST will utilize tools and techniques (i.e. customer surveys, customer interviews, focus groups, etc.) to assess customer satisfaction with IST's services and support.
  • IST will encourage the use of technology (i.e. Intranet, Internet, etc.) to improve customer service, improve internal processes, facilitate communication with citizens, and increase efficiency in the delivery of services.
  • IST will provide County employees, citizens, and the business community with timely, convenient access to information and services through the use of technology.
  • IST will recognize outstanding achievements through County initiated employee recognition programs and departmental initiatives. 

     



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