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IMS Strategic Plan

Introduction

Computing and information technologies have become an integral part of virtually every aspect of Larimer County's daily operations. Many critical activities that support our organization have become impossible without reliable access to the voice, data, and video communication networks as well as mail and support services.

Information Management Services (IMS), as a County internal service unit, plays a vital part in planning and coordinating the communication and technology services for other County divisions. Today's decentralized computing environment coupled with the explosive growth in the range of services and increasing reliance on consistent service, has led to an increased dependence on and expectation of the technologies which infuse our organization.

The IMS strategic plan outlines the direction that IMS customers have requested through interviews, focus groups, discussions, and surveys conducted throughout 1997.

This strategic plan will be updated yearly and will continue to address any issues identified in Larimer County's overall strategic plan. IMS views this as a living document that all IMS employees will use as a road map for the direction of their work. IMS will use customer feedback, County division plans, technology research and trends, and strategic plans from various industries to refine and improve this plan. One of our toughest challenges will be to secure necessary funding and resources needed to accomplish the majority of the initiatives outlined in this plan as they compete with other County priorities.

Larimer County employees are members of a team that accepts its public stewardship responsibilities with a positive, open, and can-do attitude. The members of the Larimer County team know that sincerity, honesty, and respect serve as a strong foundation upon which effective partnerships are built at all levels inside and outside the organization.

Process

The Information Management Services Strategic Plan is a product that resulted as part of a study to better align and integrate IMS with other county offices and divisions. This alignment will better assist the County to be more effective and efficient in the delivery of our services to the community. Over 100 County employees participated in the study. The analysis of the information gathered is being used to support a number of very important purposes including: 1) developing this Information Management Services Strategic Plan; 2) establishing IMS priorities over the next three years; 3) identifying IMS customer service levels; 4) improving customer satisfaction; and 5) identifying fee and funding philosophies.

The County performed an internal study consisting of an IMS self assessment as well as an in-depth customer assessment. Information was also gathered from several Northern Colorado local governments. Industry trends were researched and taken into consideration during the process. Listed below is a brief synopsis of who participated and how.

INTERNAL STUDY

IMS Self Assessment - All departments and personnel within IMS were surveyed and interviewed. The department heads produced descriptions of services provided, common business practices used, main customers, and any fees charged. IMS departments include: System and Programming Services, GIS and Mapping Services, Communications Services, and Information Support Services.

Customer Assessment - To ensure that we obtained information from as many sources as possible, we talked to all levels of the organization including over 100 county employees.

  • Board of Commissioners and other members of their office participated to achieve an enterprise-wide, high-level view.
  • Elected officials, chief deputies, division directors, department heads, and senior management were surveyed to get the management view.
  • Major customers for: Help Desk and End User Computing; Application Development and Support; Telecommunications; Technical Communications; GIS and Mapping; Technical Support and Data Center, Print Shop and Mail Room, and Micrographics and Records Management were surveyed.

EXTERNAL SITE VISIT ASSESSMENT

As part of our research we wanted to see what other Northern Colorado local governments were doing to apply Information Technology within their organization. One of the advantages of working in the public sector is that organizations share information about successes, failures, strategic directions, costs, fees, what works well, what doesn't, etc. To obtain some of this information we met with the IMS Directors of Arapahoe County, Jefferson County, Boulder County, Douglas County, City of Boulder, and City of Fort Collins. Weld and Adams Counties were not visited because their IMS organizations have been outsourced.

A consolidation of the information that was obtained while performing the study can be reviewed in the back of the Information Management Services Strategic Plan.

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