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Commissioners Approve 3-year IT strategic plan

A three-year strategic plan for the LaGrange County Information Technology Department was approved by county commissioners at Monday’s meeting. The plan, drafted in April, was presented by IT Director Bob Murphy.

Murphy praised commissioners and council members for their investments in technology. He noted that initial investments of some $2 million and an additional $800,000 last year have placed LaGrange County on the cutting edge of new technology.

Murphy described the plan as an effort to aid in budgetary requirements for technology in LaGrange County over the next three years. “It is the mission of the county IT department to provide our users with a stable, secure and efficient network to assist them in effectively serving the taxpayers of LaGrange County,” he said.

Murphy proposed the total rebuilding and update of the county’s websites during 2013. He requests an additional employee for the department during the 2014-2016 period of time.

Currently there are two people in the IT department; the administrator and a network administrator. The department supports over 150 users on over 130 computers and 30 servers. The department is also responsible for 25 copy machines, three separate telephone systems, three separate websites and averages completing over 1,000 work orders a year.

 “I would recommend that our next person hired in this department have a background in database management and web design,” he said.

Murphy is recommending a wireless network for the county buildings (courthouse, annex and sheriff’s Dept.) in 2014. The network will allow for “guest” use of computers, smart phones and wireless devises to access the internet.

Also slated for attention in 2014, according to the plan, are an upgrade of the routers used to route network traffic. Murphy did not recommend replacing the routers, only upgrading the current equipment. There would also be an effort to replace about ¼ of the network printers in the system.

Starting in 2015, Murphy is proposing that the mobile units for the sheriff’s department be replaced. He notes that these units will at that time be over six years old and at end-of-life. The plan also calls for the replacement of about 1/3 of the counties 130 units. “After three years the hardware and software is outdated in most cases,” he stated.

In 2016 the plan calls for refreshing 1/5 of the approximately 30 servers in the county. There will also be a need to replace 1/3 of the phones in the system. At that time the VoIP (voice over internet phones) phones will be a minimum of eight years old. This refresh of phones will ensure that our phones remain up-to-date and functional.