The Evolution of the County’s Technology Department
In 1984 the Board of Commissioners established a Data Processing Office that was to be staffed by a single employee called the Data Processing Coordinator. The office's purpose was to coordinate existing computer activities in the county, but more importantly, to identify and acquire suitable technologies capable of helping county departments and courts perform their business functions more efficiently. This involved supporting existing computer systems as well as researching, acquiring, implementing and supporting new technologies that were “current” at the time. In 1984, and lasting only until 1986, two Burroughs B800 computer systems were used to process financial transactions, payroll, indexing of recorded deeds, and child support payments.
Additional staff was added beginning in 1986 when the county purchased its first IBM computer system. This system was an IBM System/38 using the RPG programming language. The department was renamed to the Information Systems Department in 1987 and coinciding with the department name change, the Data Processing Coordinator’s job title was re-titled to be Director of Information Systems.
The needs of county departments and courts, and their ability to process vast amounts of data, have changed dramatically over the years. To keep pace with service demands, and to more accurately reflect the role of the county’s technology department, in early 2015 the department was renamed to the Technology Services Department. Today, nine (9) full-time employees (FTEs), including the director, are employed in the department.
The IBM System/38 computer was replaced in 1988 with an IBM AS/400 computer system. Although the original IBM systems have long since been replaced with newer models, as well as network servers, the computing capacity of the county’s systems far exceeds those in use in the 1980s to early 1990s.
Since inception of a technology department, two large-scale computer systems supporting four (4) government processes evolved into a complex computer network with over 2,000 devices connected (i.e., PCs, laptops, tablets, iPads, Androids, printers, document scanners, smart phones, desk phones, and so on) that support business processes for two dozen county departments/courts. And, we extend and support some county systems out to local community police, fire, and EMS agencies.