The Information Technology Review – City of Pekin, Illinois
By: Jerry Schultz, Vice President, GovHR USA
In the summer of 2016 GovHR USA conducted an information technology review for the City of Pekin, Illinois (pop. 33,000). This case study presents highlights of the information technology review, which was part of a larger organizational service delivery study.
A GovHR USA consultant interviewed staff members regarding the City’s use of information technology and reviewed a variety of documents. The City’s use of information technology was then evaluated in light of a set of technology use best practices that are employed by local governments and also private sector businesses.
General Findings of the IT Review
The review found the City was making effective use of information technology and was providing a standard mix of technology services to its departments and ultimately to its citizens. The City’s departments seemed satisfied with the technology services they were receiving.
The review found there were a number of new technology opportunities that the City wouldbenefit from. The City staff was already aware of many of these opportunities and in some cases was taking steps to implement them.
GovHR USA made 25 recommendations for the City within 13 best practice areas. These are some selected recommendations:
- Engage in a process to develop a multi-year strategic technology plan.
- Consider the addition of a full-time IT manager. This manager would help chart technology directions for the City, supervise the IT staff, and act as a project manager for technology projects.
- Consider a part-time communications coordinator for the City’s electronic communications efforts.
- Formally designate project sponsors and project managers for each technology project.
- Automate the management of work orders and service requests
- Implement a legislative system to automate some City Council functions.
- Implement the land management modules of the City’s ERP system to support building permits, inspections, and code enforcement activity in an integrated way. Also, implement the ability to issue permits online.
- Improve processes by integrating the City’s GIS system with the City’s data systems.
- Implement automated systems for citations and parking tickets and develop an interface of citations data with the county courts records system.
- Complete an active project to upgrade the City’s website and add a mobile component.
- Coordinate the publishing of news on the website and other media, and consider issuing a periodic electronic newsletter.
- Issue additional mobile devices to City staff where appropriate, especially where the use of these devices can improve processes that involve work in the field.
- Continue to upgrade wireless coverage to support the increasing use of mobile devices.
- Support more formal logging and management of IT service requests.
- As the opportunities arise, consider shifting the hosting of data systems to Internet cloud services.
- Consider shifting productivity software to a cloud-based product, such as Microsoft Office 365 or Google G Suite for Government
The City Has Taken a Variety of Actions
Based on the results of this review and other factors the City has since taken a variety of actions to improve its use of information technology:
- Contracted for a part-time social media coordinator to handle all of the City’s social media accounts and also for an assistant City Clerk to handle all website publications.
- Fully implemented a legislative management system to streamline those processes.
- Begin implementing a work order, inspections, and land management system.
- Updated the City’s website at www.ci.pekin.il.us along with a mobile component.
- Begun using an online budgeting system to compile yearly budgets and increase transparency.
- Added systems for police citations and traffic tickets.
Would You Benefit from an Information Technology Review?
GovHR USA has performed similar organizational service delivery studies for many other government clients. We are always eager to take on a project for either a broader organizational service delivery study or a more focused information technology review.