ICIT has started or is involved in numerous projects that provide important services to our members and/or the counties they serve. Key projects include:
County Technology Assistance
Paying IT Forward - ICIT's County Technology Assistance Program
Beginning in 2011, ICIT began offering technology assessments to counties. Unlike other assessment offerings, ICIT can offer professional advice from a county perspective. Additionally, counties that take advantage of this opportunity can be confident that the advice they get is free from bias in regards to products or services. As of June 2014, ICIT has worked with 15 counties on assessments.
What does the assessment include? This is really determined by the needs of the county. Surveys are provided to help the county identify what they want to have assessed and based on these surveys, ICIT will create a Project Scope for the engagement. Some of the items assessed during past engagements have included:
- Infrastructure: including cabling, servers, capacity and performance.
- Security: including vulnerability assessment, password strength and policies, firewall configuration, patch management and physical controls.
- Financial: including budget, expenditures and contracts.
- GIS: available data, sharing and publishing capacity, applications, infrastructure, etc.
What does the assessment cost? This varies for each project. ICIT only charges actual expenses, including mileage, lodging and meals. The cost for these items will vary depending on the size of the team, the distance traveled by each team member, and the length of the assessment. The size of the teams have ranged from 4 to 8 members, and is determined based on the scope of the assessment and the size of the organization and infrastructure being assessed. Team members are selected based on their expertise, their availability, and when possible, their geographic proximity.
What is the process like? This can also vary depending on the scope defined for the project, but typically it involves an on site visit, which is usually most of two days. During the visit, the ICIT team members meet with the Board of Supervisors, department heads and employees and examine the technology in each office. They will collect information both manually and using automated tools and document all of their findings. A summary report of their findings is usually provided at the end of the on site visit. For the next couple of weeks, the team will analyze the collected data and compile recommendations for how to address any deficiencies and determine a realistic plan of how the county can move forward to meet their technology goals. Once this work has been completed, as many of the team members as possible will return to present their final report. The report becomes the property of the county, so we can't post actual reports here, but a sample of the final report provided to counties is available.
Does the final report end the engagement? Hopefully not! ICIT's goal with the Paying IT Forward program is to foster long term relationships and help counties to continue to make progress. In most cases, members of the assessment team are still engaged with the counties that have participated. Assistance evaluating proposals and quotes for equipment and services is a very common after project activity. In cases where hiring staff was recommended, team members have assisted counties during the hiring process, such as reviewing resumes or even assisting with interviews. The team will continue to be a resource to the county in whatever reasonable capacity is needed to help them continue to address issues identified during the assessment.
So why do we call this program "Paying IT Forward?" The program provides a way for us to help our neighbors keep moving forward as technology advances. It affords us the chance to pay back to the community for the support we each receive from our peers in ICIT. It allows us to sharpen each others skill sets and gain new insights into best practices. And it gives us an opportunity to build new relationships with counties and strengthen old ones by working side by side.
To find out more about the program, contact our Technology Advocate, Joel Rohne, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iowa GIS Data Repository
IowaGISData.org is developed and sponsored by the Iowa Counties Information Technology Association. IowaGISData.org was created to provide a secure method for counties, as well as other agencies, to share GIS data for emergency management and other purposes. It is designed to be a powerful tool for local government agencies to share critical GIS data.
This latest iteration includes many new enhancements, including the following:
- Unlimited repository folder levels for any particular entity.
- The ability to rename repository folders.
- Enhanced reporting of repository and user activity.
- Better performance.
Iowa Land Records
This is your primary source for information about recorded real estate documents in Iowa. iowalandrecords.org is the official statewide web site sponsored by elected county officials. Learn more about the information and services offered here, or become a registered user to access advanced features and services.