Fall Newsletter - November 2012


Featured Articles

  • TAGITM Spotlight Organization
  • Local User Groups Going Strong
  • TAGITM Board of Directors Update

Connect with TAGITM

     
  
      


Time to Renew Your Membership

Stay connected with TAGITM by renewing your membership today.   To renew your membership login to the Agency Membership Profile.   If you do not remember the loging information for your Agency Membership Profile, you may contact TAGITM at info@tagitm.org and we'll be happy to help.   Once you have logged in, click on the Profile Page and then scroll to the bottom and click on the icon for Membership.   There'll be a link to securely renew your membership.   Thank you for being a part of TAGITM!   


Save the Date!

The 2013 TAGITM Annual Conference will be held on April 22-25, 2013 at the beautiful Pearl Resort on South Padre Island. Nestled on the island's southern tip, the Pearl South Padre provides an ideal location to return to following an exciting and educational day spent at the conference. Block the date on your calendars now. 
See You There!!!!!


TAGITM Needs Your Input for the 2013 Conference Survey

The education committee has compiled a list of potential education session topics from last year's conference exit survey and the ListServe.  However, they need your feedback to ensure the topics that are most important to you have been captured.  Please take a moment to provide your input by completing the
2013 Conference Survey.

 

 

TAGITM Organization in the Spotlight
City of Deer Park

Organization Name:  City of Deer Park

Number of IT Workers in Your Organization: 8

Significant Technology Achievements:  Development and completion of a 5 Year Strategic Technology Master Plan

Plans for Future Technology Initiatives:  FY 2012-13 Budget is expected to fund a website redesign, VoIP expansion, upgrade to Incode version 10, implementation of Cartegraph’s  GIS based centralized work order system, building permits, asset management, and code enforcement modules, and implementation of Granicus’ Transparent Government system. That is on the software side of the house! For hardware systems we are looking at installing door access systems in 3 buildings, camera systems in 2 buildings, server replacements and a SAN expansion. Wow, it will be another busy year!

Most Challenging Project:  The most challenging project was Year 1 of our Strategic Technology Master Plan. It was my first year as the IT Director and was a challenging and extremely busy time. However, it was also a successful year. It involved staffing a newly created IT department, upgrading our WAN infrastructure, expanding the data center, replacing servers and routers, installing a SAN, starting up a GIS operation and more. I look back now and think, "OMG, did we really accomplish all that in one year?”  

Most Rewarding Project:   I have 2 projects that would be considered my most rewarding and both for the same reason; the success of each was widespread throughout the City. One is the development of the city’s 5 Year Strategic Technology Master Plan. This was a process that involved all of our department directors speaking up on what was lacking and/or working with the city’s technology program. From this candid and revealing process, a 5 Year STMP was developed and my course of action was set. It was both a humbling and motivating experience at the same time. However, it has proven to be the best use of "consultant fees” I’ve ever seen! The STMP continues to earn respect for IT’s operation and provides improvements throughout the City each budget year.

The second most rewarding project was the implementation of OSSI Public Safety Software. This project involved several months of research and system analysis before a decision was made. When the decision was made to go with a consortium of 6 other neighboring cities using a shared OSSI system, it began a project that continues to provide positive results. The IT and PD departments worked very closely to implement OSSI and to complete the conversion of existing data from our AS400 to OSSI. We completed the installation of RMS, CAD, and mobiles within 6 months. The conversion was completed in the following months. This time line was quite a success by our measures. Most significant for IT, the project began a strong and positive relationship between our PD and IT departments that we continue to benefit from today.

What is Most Valuable About Being a TAGITM Member:  You’ve seen it many times before, but I’ll say it again. The Most Valuable Benefit (MVB) of TAGITM is the relationships you build with your peers. IT Services is inherently about helping others by improving their operations, systems, practices, etc. TAGITM takes that philosophy to another level where everyone helps everyone about whatever is needed whenever the time comes. It is a great organization to participate in and I encourage all members to bring in other members either from within their organization or by invitation to those outside. We only grow stronger in numbers.    

For questions or additional information regarding this article, please contact Linda McHone, Deer Park I.T. Manager, at mchone@deerparktx.org.


 Local User Groups

While each organization is unique, we all face similar challenges. If you are facing a problem, the odds are good one of your neighbors has had to deal with it too. So why not learn from their experience? By joining or starting a local user group you can begin to share knowledge and experience with nearby colleagues. Meeting regularly, you can sometimes get ahead of the curve by seeing trends develop in other agencies, then proactively implement technology or policy in yours. Talking to your neighbors about their projects and challenges helps clarify your own priorities. In my local group we have shared policies, discussed why and how we enforce policies, discussed project planning, and shared lists of favorite software utilities.
 
Currently the following areas have active local user groups:

Local user groups extend the benefits of TAGITM membership, increase our knowledge base, and build lasting friendships. Join or start one today! For more information on user groups in your area contact Keith Macedo at membership@tagitm.org<mailto:membership@tagitm.org


TAGITM Board of Directors Update

One of the goals that your 2012-13 Board of Directors set out to realize was to have our organization become an Affiliate of the Texas Municipal League.  I am happy to report that we are on track to become the 21st TML Affiliate at their 100th annual conference on November 13th-16th in Grapevine. TML currently has over 1,100 member cities, which by virtue of their participation, encompasses over 16,000 mayors, councilmembers, city managers, city attorneys, and department heads as official member of the League.  In addition, the League has over 400 Associate Members from private sector companies, organizations, and individuals that provide services and products to government agencies in Texas.  The exposure to TAGITM that this will generate will be "priceless”.

We are also hosting two presentations at the Conference, so if you will be at TML, please be sure to support TAGITM by attending!
Thursday—2:00 – 3:15 p.m. iPads, Tablets, and Smart Phones (Oh, My!)
Curt Balogh, Director of Information Technology, City of Frisco; and Beth Ann Unger, Information Technology Manager, City of Arlington
The rapid increase in smart phone and tablet use in recent years is changing the face of information technology. While initially designed to merge our personal and business communication, these devices are increasingly being used by employees and elected officials alike to conduct public business. In this session, we’ll discuss the opportunities this trend provides, the challenges we need to be prepared for, and recommendations as we move forward.

Friday 9:00 – 10:15am - What Leaders of the 21st Century Need to Know: Information Technology as a Strategic Advantage
Shannon H. Tufts, Ph.D., Director, Center for Public Technology, University of North Carolina
Technology has expanded to almost every aspect of our business today. In this session, we will explore how information technology can provide your organization with a strategic advantage as you move into the future.

We hope to be reporting on the successful TAGITM TML Affiliation soon after the conference wraps up.

Best regards,
Gustavo J Roman, City of Bryan
TAGITM President, 2012-2013
 

 

Texas Association of Governmental Information Technology Managers
P. O. Box 200363, Austin, Texas 78720