Littleton's Information Services (IS) Department is responsible for citywide systems and telecommunications operations, support, management, implementation, and integration. The department is dedicated to providing the city with an operational foundation for all technology initiatives, and ensuring consistency, compatibility, and integration of major system components while at the same time providing the resources and knowledge to minimize redundancy and waste and maximize functional capabilities. It is ultimately responsible for implementing and managing innovative 21st-century technology and telecommunications solutions that the city uses to deliver quality and timely services to its citizens.
Technology is now at the core of government and permeates the delivery of services and the operations of government. Waves of technological innovation result in fairly predictable management challenges for government, such as getting technology project plans developed and funded, training the work force and managing the results.
The following is a list of the services provided by the City's Information Services Department. The services covered include: Data and Knowledge Collaboration; E-Government; Emergency Operations; Geographic Information System (GIS); Mobile Computing; Organizational; Process Improvement; Security; Standardization; and System Integration. The services listed have been sorted alphabetically and do not necessarily represent a rank ordering of services in terms of priority.
Data and Knowledge Collaboration
- Provide an enterprise data architecture that allows data and knowledge sharing from a common repository or set of defined interfaces/ middleware that permit reuse of information and data resources across the City and to a limited extent to the public, and minimizes redundancy and waste.
- Provide a document management and imaging solution for many departmental uses that will help achieve data and knowledge sharing across the City.
- Support the use of Intranet and Internet technologies for communication and collaboration on tasks related to the Library, Museum, and other groups who need to interface with other agencies.
- Provide the capability to use Intranet and Internet technologies to provide City services and access to information to internal and external users via web browsers.
- Save time, money, and natural resources by reducing paper processing.
- Work with City departments to streamline City workflows.
- Make the City an easier government entity to access.
- Provide technologies to reach out across the "digital divide" to all citizens.
- Provide general guidelines and principles for planning, managing and coordinating the overall response and recovery activities of the Information Services Department before, during, and after major emergencies and disaster events that affect the City and its information systems.
Geographic Information System (GIS)
- Provide a common repository and set of tools and technologies for geographic-based information that allows the sharing of data between systems via defined interfaces and procedures.
- Provide the capability to use a centralized database containing all major data elements and maps for GIS-data sharing and maintenance.
- Provide the capability to access primary technology systems from remote locations using wireless technology and ordinary laptop computers and hand-held devices.
- Use browser-based Internet/Intranet tools and technologies, and internal SQL databases, to permit access to back-office systems or internally develop applications without necessarily having the full application loaded on the client computer.
- Provide a centralized technology support function that compliments departmental autonomy for systems and technology by using a departmental organizational structure with well-defined roles and responsibilities, policies and procedures, and a project management methodology.
- Provide dedicated technology support and specialized training for mission-critical operational functions.
- Eliminate and/or minimize paper forms and manual processes as part of the City's standard operation and moving toward an enterprise-wide integration of people, processes, and technologies.
- Provide the capability to use Intranet/Internet technologies to help facilitate financial transactions such as electronic banking, on-line bill payment, for taxes and utilities, and other monetary transactions.
- Centralize a work order system that can be used by multiple departments for managing resources and scheduling tasks and projects.
- Use a project management methodology for performing medium and large-scale projects.
- Use on-line tools for trouble reporting, project requests, and resources allocation and project scheduling and project status checking.
- Provide a set of guidelines on citywide information security since computer information systems and networks are an integral part of business processes and services at the City of Littleton.
- Protect the City's investment in computer information systems and networks.
- Safeguard the information contained within the City's computer information systems and networks.
- Reduce business and legal risk.
- Protect the good name of the City of Littleton.
- Administer a City-wide technology Standard Operating Environment (SOE).
- Use the same technologies and solutions for similar operational needs without multiple, redundant systems.
- Utilize a robust Intranet and Internet technical architecture to provide integration of back-office/ departmental systems and to provide a communication channel, internal and external, for publishing information.
- Upgrade or replace many older systems that represent antiquated technology and move toward a totally integrated operating environment.
A reoccurring theme throughout this list of services is the desire to transition to the use of Internet and Intranet technologies to provide services to citizens and City of Littleton employees. The use of these technologies can help the government to deliver services better, faster, and cheaper. Technologies, like the Internet, can help the government to be more efficient and responsive.
Digital Government is the term used to describe the intersection where the Internet, citizens, and government come together. Digital Government is the place where citizens, and for that matter employees, manage their relationships with their government, where businesses and government meet as trading partners, and where governments themselves transform the way they do business.
Digital Government is a transformation or a shift in the government culture. It is a shift from strictly counter delivery of services during "regular" business hours to the delivery of services when, where, and how the citizen, employee, or business wants those services.
Digital Government does not require citizens to figure out how the government is structured and who they go to for specific services. It offers seamless access to services regardless of the government structure. Basically, Digital Government is an environment that is safe and welcoming for citizens, businesses, and employees to do business with their government, or employer, at a time and place of their choosing.
This future challenge of becoming a Digital Government is supported by the "City of Littleton Technology and Information Systems Operations and Strategic Planning Study" which was commissioned by the City and developed by Whittman-Hart, Inc. in September of 1999. The most supportive statement comes from the section titled "Proposed IT Project List" from Proposed Project #29. This is a project for the City Managers Office titled "City-wide Internet/Intranet Environment." In the project description it states "This is probably the most important project the City has in its current priority list."
Additional support for this future challenge comes from the "City of Littleton E-Government Initiative Feasibility Study" commissioned by the City and developed by EPC Services-Conseils, Inc. in September of 2001. This document states that "the City of Littleton embarked on this [E-Government] Study [to explore ways] to deliver services more efficiently to its citizens and its employees, to save time and money and natural resources by reducing paper processing, to streamline its workflows, accommodate public demands for more and faster service, to make the City an easier government entity to access, to help internal and external communications and to reach out across the 'digital divide' to all citizens."
It is fair, at this point, to conclude that the transition to a Digital Government is the biggest future challenge facing the City of Littleton. Most, if not all of the technology initiatives should be tied to this future challenge. However, technology is not the answer to this challenge; it is part of the process; it is an enabler.