Information Technology Services
Pat Galassi, Director
1120 Commerce Drive, Prescott, AZ 86305
The Information Technology Services Department's mission is to deliver high-quality IT services and support to all Yavapai County departments by focusing on technology solutions that meet the business challenges of the departmental customers we serve.
The Information Technology Services Department (ITS) will be recognized within Yavapai County and throughout Arizona as a technology leader that supports our core mission of public service and better government through technology.
· Service Excellence – ITS will provide exceptional service that is consistent and helpful.
· Technical Excellence – ITS will provide technical expertise that is innovative and exceeds expectations.
· Communication – ITS will practice timely, courteous, and professional communications.
· Trust – ITS will foster trust through demonstrative action.
· Transparency – ITS will promote financial stewardship, governance, and oversight.
· Partnership – ITS values our interdepartmental relationships through collaboration and knowledge sharing.
The Information Technology Services (ITS) Department is comprised of approximately 40 County employees and grouped according to business function. Those groups include Client and Infrastructure Services, Service Desk and Records Management, Business Systems, and Business Administration. Each group has a technology unit manager overseeing the staff and area of operation. However, ITS has also implemented an adaptive staffing model using matrix management to allow for cross-team collaboration and the efficient use of IT personnel. This hybrid approach utilizes the benefits of a structured team environment while permitting a flexible resource allocation capability.
The ITS department's primary mission is to provide Technology as a Service (TaaS) to all County departments. Our implementation of TaaS is the holistic approach to facilitating, implementing, overseeing, managing, delivering, and supporting technology solutions across multi-platforms to meet the rapidly changing business demands of Yavapai County government. Currently, ITS supports approximately 1500 users, 40+ locations, and over 5,000 hardware and software platforms.
ITS has made significant progress over the past year by providing high-quality support and customer service to all County departments. To sustain and build upon this realized success, ITS is embarking on several key initiatives in the upcoming fiscal year to increase transparency, improve project delivery, and align business needs with technology solutions. These initiatives are outlined in our strategic plan and will improve the ability to forecast countywide technology, support, and resource requirements.
The ITS team is committed to providing professional, efficient, and effective technology leadership. Our goal is to provide excellent customer service before, during, and after all technology engagements. ITS acknowledges and embraces the ever-changing nature of technology. We also recognize the need to manage technology responsibly and be good stewards of the County's resources at all times. With proper governance and oversight, ITS can focus on the current and future technology needs of Yavapai County.
Currently, there is no countywide IT governance policy in place. While some departments are more collaborative than others, no formal Board-approved policy or framework compels departments to work with ITS early in the planning process. The absence of this formal policy and process significantly impacts the ITS department's staffing model and resource planning, making it unpredictable at times.
Our ability to maintain critical IT systems and successfully execute planned projects in scope, on time, and within the planned budget are constantly challenged due to shifting priorities. The impact that unplanned projects have on both planned projects and routine maintenance cannot be overstated. ITS recognizes the need to remain flexible and adaptable to changing county priorities. However, without a shared policy and IT governance framework in place, we will continue to see less than optimal outcomes.
To address both current and future governance challenges, ITS will prioritize the creation of an IT Governance Policy in conjunction with a comprehensive IT policy development plan.
Backup and Recovery
Currently, backup and recovery are being performed at a level below industry standards and best practices. A substantial resource commitment is needed towards cloud data migration, improving access security, and thereby reducing the time and effort required to support the current on-premises system.
ITS is recommending implementation of a comprehensive 3-2-1 backup and recovery design that will include both an on-premises and cloud-based architecture.
Systems Preventative Maintenance and Auditing
Regular maintenance and auditing are being performed below industry standards. Detailed auditing is not currently performed due to storage constraints and the cost of tools to aggregate data.
A modern enterprise management tool is needed to effectively manage our on-premises and cloud-based resources.
ITS has completed the first phase of our cloud migration strategy with the implementation of our cloud VDI solution in Azure. To continue the implementation of our cloud strategy, we will need additional funding. The next phase of this strategy will include creation of the Azure foundation and early stages of migration of local servers and resources to the cloud.
The County is currently at an elevated risk due to its limited ability to respond and recovery from known ransomware attacks.
Combating a ransomware attack is incredibly challenging for any organization as attacks have been ever increasing in frequency against public section entities like the County. However, recent advancements in backup/recovery solutions can significantly mitigate our susceptibility to these ransomware-type attacks. ITS will be evaluating these backup/recovery solutions, newly available cyber security tools and design concepts to determine their efficacy and cost-effectiveness.
ITS must build a solid cybersecurity foundation starting with the creation of a dedicated cybersecurity team. This new team will report to the ITS Business Administration Manager and will be comprised of two existing staff members, with a new cyber security specialist being requested during the FY23 budget planning process.
Afterhours On-Call Support
ITS's support commitment extends beyond normal business hours, and on-call support is provided on a 24/7-365 basis. When on-call support is provided, it significantly reduces the team's capacity to perform work during regular work hours.
Significant work is needed towards a well-defined afterhours support policy to address all departments that have critical 24/7 support needs. Additionally, this policy will also address afterhours infrastructure maintenance and support requirements.
ITS after-hours engineers do not receive any additional pay to compensate them for this critical service above their base salary, which contributes to unpredictable response times. We are hopeful that as the recent Evergreen Solutions, LLC compensation study is completed, there will be a mechanism to address this compensation gap.
Criminal Justice Center Support
Along with Facilities and our Criminal Justice partners, we have identified significant areas of concern regarding technology support for Jail Management Systems (JMS). ITS is requesting one additional senior engineer (SEIV) to serve as the single point of contact and support for all three detention facilities. This individual will utilize current ITS staff to add additional support to this dedicated role.
Significant Projects or Objectives for FY21/22
· Move to yavapaiaz.gov domain – 8/2021· Server hardware replacements – 11/2021· Passwordstate – Administrative and password management solution – 2/2022· ITS Strategic Plan Year One – 3/2022· Annual technology refresh cycle – approximately 300 devices – 3/2022· Network hardware replacements – 5/2022 (hardware delays)· Video Conferencing solutions installed – 9/2022
· Boardroom Upgrade – currently evaluating various vendor solutions – 6/2022· Cisco ISE – wireless and device security enhancements – 6/2022· Cloud VDI – cloud virtual desktop; Azure tenant creation – substantial completion 5/2022· Palo Alto Firewall – hardware replacement and VPN with MFA – 6/2022· Veeam Cloud Connect – 4/2022· AdobeSign – repurposed for Adobe Pro subscription services – 3/2022 (Board approval needed)· Bagdad Justice Court technology enhancements – 5/2022· ERP RFP development – 4/2022
Included in the FY22/23 Budget
· Increases for existing hardware/software maintenance and support· Infrastructure hardware replacements· Air-gap backup and recovery solution· Significant focus on IT security initiatives· Two additional, critical positions – Security Officer, Criminal Justice Center support· Major phone system upgrade· Records off-site storage migration project· Comprehensive policy and procedure development· Enterprise monitoring solution· Continued Cloud migration
· ServiceNow asset management and discovery tools· ERP Implementation and subscription
Areas of Concern
· Supply chain issues – inability to obtain technology hardware
· Vendor responsiveness – difficulty acquiring vendor services
· COVID-19 staff impact – reduced available labor hours and diminished leave balances
ITS leadership continues to look for innovative ways to develop our workforce, improve enterprise architecture, strengthen cybersecurity, improve customer services, and focus on effectiveness and efficiency. These initiatives were recently approved by the Board of Supervisors in the ITS Strategic Plan, and these areas of focus will serve as a roadmap for technology planning well into the future.
The ITS Budget Request for the fiscal year 2022-2023 is hereby submitted for your consideration
To view the ITS budget supplements, please use these links: