Leesburg Council Briefed on Town IT Needs

Just as the Leesburg Town Council kicks off its fiscal year 2020 budget process, it can add a laundry list of IT needs to the debate.

The council recently was presented with an IT strategic plan, an effort spearheaded by its Technology and Communications Commission. Mary Siero, president of Innovative IT Solutions, made the presentation before the council at its Jan. 7 meeting.

Several security vulnerabilities were discovered during the course of the assessment and information gathering for the plan. They were not specified in the report; however, because of confidentiality concerns. Town Council members were expected to be briefed individually by town staff on what those security vulnerabilities are.

Five key technology initiatives of strategic importance were identified during the course of the review. They were the need to develop and implement formal IT governance to include processes, roles, tools and criteria; formulate a plan for the future provision of key technology infrastructure and architecture for the town; enhance IT staffing and support with business analysts to provide increased business application support; focus on expanding and enhancing key software applications; and improve IT customer service through the implementation of an IT service catalog. Four of the five initiatives are categorized in the plan as “foundational must haves,” with the assessment noting that Leesburg lags behind other similarly sized communities in its IT resources.

The adopted plan will serve as a guide for the Information Technology Department’s work plans over the next five years. It provides a five-year plan implementation for the town, and a two-year tactical roadmap on what measures need to be funded and achieved in the near-term if the strategic vision of leveraging technology and providing exceptional customer service into the future is going to be realized.

All told, recommendations stemming from the adopted plan could cost $1 million, mainly for additional full-time staffing if the council moves forward with implementation during the two upcoming fiscal year budgets.

In fiscal year 2020, the plan calls for a new systems administrator position responsible for managing IT infrastructure, mobile devices and wireless technology. The following fiscal year, 2021, a new telecommunications manager position is recommended for managing telecommunications, fiber network and wireless infrastructure. During the next two fiscal years, three more business analyst positions are recommended to support Lucity asset management, the Land Management Information System and Laserfische workflow and document management system within the IT department, as well as other town departments.

Siero noted that the business analyst positions could particularly come in handy, because many of the applications the town staff uses have capabilities that are not being used.

Although IT looks to be a big part of the budget conversation in the coming months, the Town Council last week did vote to use $200,000 of its fiscal year 2018 Unassigned Fund Balance to support objectives laid out in the plan.

krodriguez@loudounnow.com

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