Fairfax County Earns First Place in 2015 Digital Counties Survey!
The Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties (NACo) which identifies best technology practices among U.S. counties ranked Fairfax County at first place in the 2015 Digital Counties Survey as an adaptive IT leader, collaborator and arbiter of the public trust. The annual survey recognizes leading examples of counties using technology to improve services and boost efficiencies. Fairfax County was the top winner in the 500,000 or more population category, where notable programs included the county’s big data and open data initiatives, transparent budgeting process, NCRnet interoperability portal which includes identity management and data exchange, a comprehensive IT strategic plan, disaster recovery and resiliency strategies and technology governance. Winners were chosen based on their understanding of the transformational value of technology and those that had made the investments needed to improve services and efficiency across all facets of their organizations. This is the fifth time that Fairfax County has been ranked number one and has been among the top three for ten years.
The award was presented at the 2015 National Association of Counties(NACo) annual conference in Charlotte, NC on July 10th to Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross and Chief Technology Officer Wanda Gibson. Read more...
The Department of Information Technology contributes to an efficient and productive County government while using modern information technologies to improve citizen access to government information and services. To give focus and direction to staff within the department and to help plan for the future, an overall mission has been established together with eight goals. The missions and goals statement were developed with considerable input from staff regarding the important issues facing the department. Fairfax County is making the necessary investments in information technology and software, which through careful planning, cooperative business and technical execution will provide its citizens with a return on investment in the form of improved services. These goals were established to energize the department in performing its functions of developing and maintaining current information technology systems, providing a technology infrastructure and customer service support to County agencies.
Mission and Goals
The Department of Information Technology will deliver quality and innovative information technology solutions to provide citizens, the business community and County staff with convenient access to appropriate information and services.
Goal 1: Deliver timely and effective responses to
customer requirements through teamwork.
Goal 2: Provide vision, leadership, and a framework for evaluating emerging technologies and implementing proven information technology solutions.
Goal 3: Provide citizens, the business community and County staff with convenient access to appropriate information and services through technology.
Goal 4: Work with County agencies to improve business operations by thoroughly understanding business needs and by planning, implementing and managing the best information technology solutions available.
Goal 5: Guarantee a reliable communication and computer infrastructure foundation on which to efficiently conduct County business operations today and in the future.
Goal 6: Effectively communicate information about plans, projects, and achievements to County staff and customers.
Goal 7: Develop and maintain technically skilled staff who are competent in current and emerging information technology and a user community that understands and can employ modern technologies to maximize business benefits.
Goal 8: Ensure effective technical and fiscal management of the Department's operations, resources, technology projects and contracts.>
Ten IT Fundamental Principles
Our ultimate goal is to provide citizens, the business community, and
County employees with timely, convenient access to appropriate
information and services through the use of technology.
Business needs drive information technology solutions. Strategic
partnerships will be established between the customer and County so
that the benefits of IT are leveraged to maximize the productivity of
County employees and improve customer services.
Evaluate business processes for redesign opportunities before
automating them. Use new technologies to make new business methods a
reality. Exploit functional commonality across organizational
Manage Information Technology as an investment.
- Annually allocate funds sufficient to cover depreciation to replace systems and equipment before life-cycle end. Address project and infrastructure requirements through a multi-year planning and funding strategy.
- Limit resources dedicated to "legacy systems" -- hardware and software approaching the end of its useful life -- to absolutely essential or mandated changes. Designate systems as "legacy" and schedule their replacement. This approach will help focus investments toward the future rather than the present of past.
Invest in education and training to ensure the technical staffs in
central IT and user-agencies understand and can apply current and
Implement contemporary, but proven, technologies. Fairfax County will
stay abreast of emerging trends through an ongoing program of
technology evaluation. New technologies will often be introduced
through pilot projects where both the automation and its business
benefits and costs can be evaluated prior to any full-scale
Hardware and software will adhere to open (vendor-independent)
standards and minimize proprietary solutions. This approach will
promote flexibility, inter-operability, cost effectiveness, and
mitigate the risk of dependence on individual vendors.
Manage the enterprise network as a fundamental building block of the
County's IT architecture. The network will connect modern workstations
and servers; will provide both internal and external connectivity; will
be flexible, expandable, and maintainable; be fully integrated using
open standards and capable of providing for the free movement of data,
graphics, image, video, and voice.
Approach IT undertakings as a partnership of central management and
agencies providing for a combination of centralized and distributed
implementation. Combine the responsibility and knowledge of central
management, agency staff, as well as outside contract support within a
consistent framework of County IT standards. Establish strategic
cooperative arrangements with public and private enterprises to extend
Emphasize the purchase and integration of top quality,
commercial-off-the-shelf software (COTS) -- with minimal customization
-- to speed the delivery of new business applications. This will
require redesigning some existing work processes to be compatible with
off-the-shelf software packages. Utilize modern efficient methods and
laborsaving tools in a cooperative application development environment.
A repository for common information objects (e.g., databases, files,
records, methods, application inventories) will be created, shared and
- Capture data once in order to avoid cost, duplication of effort and potential for error and share the data whenever possible. Establish and use common data and common databases to the fullest extent. A data administration function will be responsible for establishing and enforcing data policy, data sharing and access, data standardization, data quality, identification and consistent use of key corporate identifiers.