July 12, 2011
Consolidation of King County information technology cuts costs and improves customer service
Centralizing of staff and servers creates efficiencies that can lower internal costs by up to $10 million over five years
King County will capture economies of scale, standardize tools, enhance business processes, and create budgets based on service needs, under a reorganization of information technology services proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine and approved yesterday by the Metropolitan King County Council.
"By breaking down silos between departments and centralizing our IT staff and server space, we can save millions of dollars and provide better customer service to our agencies and the public," said Executive Constantine. "This reorganization enables us to move forward more efficiently to cloud-based computing and other high-tech innovations."
Under the reorganization, what was formerly known as the Office of Information Resource Management is now renamed the King County Department of Information Technology (KCIT) and includes all IT staff in executive branch departments. The new organization creates a central team of experts who will focus on staying current with emerging technologies, and implementing best practices with changing resources within county government.
"This restructuring enables county agencies to make use of the expertise of our technology professionals working more closely in a collaborative manner," said Metropolitan King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert, chair of the Council's Government Accountability and Oversight Committee. "Now, everyone in county government has access to all our technology tools, and each agency can choose which tools work best for them. A number of functions will be centralized, including our helpdesk, for extended hours of service. The new leadership direction and streamlining helps increase efficiency and maximize our use of technology for responsive customer service."
Until recently, many departments and sections housed their own computer servers and IT resources within their work groups. As part of the reorganization, KCIT has moved 154 devices to the county's state-of-the-art data center - a climate-controlled and secure facility with redundant back-up - which reduces the county's overall energy costs and opens up the vacated space for other uses.
KCIT will also eliminate duplicate IT services that are currently provided at a department level and provide such innovations as cloud-based computing countywide. Altogether the reorganization is expected to save $10 million over five years and improve customer service and internal business operations.
"Under our new structure, county departments can focus on their core missions and not be hindered by limitations on technology" said KCIT Director Bill Kehoe. "I am thrilled to be on the forefront of creating efficiencies in county government and implementing new technology that benefits everyone."