Office of Enterprise Technology Strategic Initiatives
OET is developing its three year Strategic Plan to determine priorities and goals that support the County’s strategic plan and strengthen OET’s overall performance in delivering technology solutions that drive business transformation. However, there are many strategic projects already underway, as highlighted below, to update OET's Infrastructure and IT services to the desired future state to support the business goals within Maricopa County's Strategic Plan.
BYOD / Mobility
Due to rapid technology advancements and the proliferation of mobile devices used by County employees, OET and County Administration developed policies to address Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). With our BYOD approach, employees were permitted certain access rights to work related applications and information on their personal devices, subject to the security and management requirements within the BYOD policy. In addition, Maricopa County is transitioning to the use of iPhones, and ultimately to other mobile devices, in an effort to provide individuals alternative methods for accessing County network resources.
With these policies now in place, BYOD can create significant opportunity for cost savings and improvement in employee productivity through timely, meaningful, and convenient technology access. Employees now have the convenience of carrying only a single device for both personal and business use as well.
“The growing trend and adoption of mobile computing is creating exciting changes for current workforces – telecommuting efficiencies, ondemand access to back‐end systems and the potential to reduce osts.” ‐ David L. Stevens, Chief Information Officer, “A Smart Government Mobility Strategy: Think Globally, Act Locally”, State Tech Magazine, April 1, 2013.
Network Refresh / Upgrade
As the central IT service organization for the County, OET provides network infrastructure services to over 50 County departments. These departments rely on a stable, reliable and secure network to ensure delivery of services to their customers and employee productivity. The network infrastructure refresh project will upgrade the network infrastructure systems of several County facilities to current standards. Replacement of end-of-life equipment will mitigate network outages and improve business continuity. This necessary refresh will also enable new enterprise technologies such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), wireless mobile computing devices, video conferencing, advanced Internet applications, and enhanced security. Providing efficient, reliable, and secure tools for County employees will enhance their experience at work and improve the services they provide to citizens of Maricopa County.
Enterprise Resource Planning
The County currently utilizes a hosted Financial Management System provided by CGI to support the County’s business needs. The County is exploring a long‐term solution for an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that will integrate budget, financial, human resource, and procurement systems.
Unified Communications / VoIP
OET initiated a long‐term strategy for providing County departments with improved communications that provide greater functionality and reduce overall cost. UC is the integration of real‐time services such as instant messaging, telephony, video conferencing, collaboration tools, and data sharing with non‐real‐time communication services such as integrated voice mail, e‐mail, and facsimile. This integration of communication provides tremendous potential to optimize business processes and reduce costs.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over the network. The MC Unify project replaces the aging and end‐of‐life Nortel phone system in use throughout the County with the new VoIP system. OET is working with Avaya on this multiphased project that will span three to five years. As part of this project, OET is collaborating with each County department to understand their business needs and identify possible opportunities to improve business processes using the new technologies.
Data Center Colocation / Cloud
The data center is the critical foundation of the County’s ability to provide essential IT services to departments and citizens. OET is currently engaged in the planning phases of a data center co-location initiative, with the goal of moving OET and multiple other departments’ IT data centers and computer rooms into a co-located, externally hosted data center facility. The target data center is built to exceed the Tier3+ standard that is now expected in large enterprise organizations like Maricopa County. This initiative has the potential to yield many long term benefits, such as: lower costs, improved uptime, elimination of large capital outlays, and improved physical and information security. OET is also considering, and has already adopted, some Software as a Service (SaaS) and Cloud Computing options as a way to reduce costs and improve service delivery.
Wireless Radio Tower Upgrade
This project will replace and expand the County‐owned Public Safety Radio System used by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), Adult and Juvenile Probation Departments, Department of transportation, Animal Care and Control, Flood Control, and others. This includes an upgrade to the infrastructure and replacement of all radios. The new system will provide greater radio coverage across the entire County enabling law enforcement and other first responders to work together in the event of a large or catastrophic incident that involves many jurisdictions. Through these efforts Maricopa County will increase its radio sites from 15 to 49, creating much greater coverage throughout the county. This replacement of the County’s Public Safety Radio System will provide necessary improvement to enhance public safety for our citizens, officers, and probation officers and ensure compliance with FCC mandates.
IT Management (ITSM / ITFM)
OET is committed to sound fiscal management and the smart investment of capital funds for information technology solutions that reduce total cost of ownership. During FY13, OET implemented several projects designed to create long‐term efficiency and reduce operating costs, including the implementation of a new storage solution, enhanced data center solutions, and the initial phases of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
OET has initiated efforts through an RFP to implement the full breadth of ITFM to generate value through improved transparency. These efforts include the establishment of a Cost Allocation Task Force whose focus for FY14 is to improve transparency, streamline budget activities, provide customer understanding of technology charges and services through the development of an IT Services Portfolio, and identify sufficient revenue to sustain the Technology Infrastructure Fund. This initiative will work to improve OET’s technology cost allocation models to create transparency and provide predictable expenditures across fiscal years to better manage the sustainability of the Technology Infrastructure Fund. This will include the development of the IT service portfolio/service catalog and development of a multi-year technology services cost allocation model that will build on the successes of each prior year.
Virtual Desktop Initiative (VDI)
OET is exploring the potential for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) as a complementary approach for refreshing the County’s desktop computers. VDI essentially creates a virtual desktop in the county’s data center thereby avoiding the cost of an actual desktop computer. Desktop computer management is very costly for any IT department and it is particularly true for Maricopa County. Within the County, there are many departments with multiple work groups and types of employees who each need their own sets of applications and tools readily available on their computers. To keep all employees productive, the County must manage several desktop and user device configurations and provide support to ensure availability. VDI provides the ability to match the right applications and tools with the users who need them through a centralized desktop infrastructure. Additionally, this solution provides improved security, improved mobility, increased IT operational efficiencies, and helps ensure key IT assets remain available, shareable, and secure.
MCSO 911 Building
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) is relocating to a new five‐story facility. In addition to providing administrative workspace for MCSO, the publicly accessible facility will house a new data center and 911 Emergency Center. The building replaces outdated, end‐of life 911 equipment with leading edge technologies, including VoIP telephone services, a dedicated telephone system to handle emergency 911 calls, a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD)/Records Management System (RMS) to manage emergency 911 calls, audio‐visual systems, access control, security cameras, and a call logging system. OET is working closely with the MCSO and providing technical assistance, project management and technology budget management services.