Saturday, April 11, 2009

TON Information Technology Department

I admit that I don't speak computer technology language, so my summary of the Information Technology Department's 2008 Annual Report will avoid technical details. One of the projects of the IT Department this past year was implementation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, which provides a variety of maps showing construction, parking, snow removal, and LEED certification in the Uptown area, TIF District locations, public parks, police beats, and sex offender locations. IT also worked to provide wireless access in Normal and installed a fingerprint scanner and analysis system for the Normal Police Department.

The six IT staff members play a critical role in upgrading, updating, and maintaining the TON website, which is a fantastic source of information and communication. The statistics showing use of the website are impressive: 3,130,916 hits (an average of 8,578 per day and 357 per hour) in 2008; the day with the greatest number of hits (25,267) was December 3; 788 submissions of questions, suggestions, and problems; 772 online applications; and 15,303 online payments of water bills, tickets, and fines for ordinance violations. The report also provides statistics on the number of work orders (categorized by department of work order origin, type of work order, and location of work order origin). July was the month with the most work orders.

The chart showing the increased use of computer technology by Town of Normal staff since 1999 reveals the importance of having a great IT Department: 291 PCs in 2008 (only 43 in 1999); 457 users in 2008 (it looks like there weren't any in 1999); and 21 servers in 2008 (compared to 2 in 1999). It makes you wonder how much the local demand for computer technology will increase and the types of computer technology needed will change in the coming years.

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