The Evolution of a New County Department
In 1984 the Board of Commissioners approved the establishment of the Data Processing Department, staffed by a single employee called the Data Processing Coordinator. The department's purpose was to coordinate computer services for county government and facilitate the purchase and maintenance of suitable technology to support business practices. At the time, two Burroughs B800 computer systems were used in the county 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 utilizing the RPG programming language. The department was renamed to the Information Systems Department in 1987 and subsequently, the Data Processing Coordinator’s position was re-titled to be Director of Information Systems.
The needs of county departments and their ability to process information have changed dramatically over the years. To keep pace with the service demands of departments, the Information Systems Department experienced periodic staffing increases. Today, seven full-time employees (FTEs), including the director, are employed in the Department. Current staffing levels reflect the impact financial constraints have had on the department resulting in a reduction of 2.25 FTEs since 2005.
The IBM System/38 computer was replaced in 1988 with an IBM AS/400 computer system. Although the original IBM AS/400 has long since been replaced with newer models, iterations of the IBM AS/400 series of computers continues to serve as a primary system for several critical business systems.
Since the Information Systems Department’s inception, the number of computers used for processing information in the county has grown significantly and number well over 2,000 devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, iPads, Androids, printers, document scanners, telephones, and so on).
Today, newer technologies are used to provide state-of-the-art network services including centralized digital storage and virtualized servers.