CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM
Meeting Date: April 10, 2007
Subject/Title: Receive and file the Strategic Technology Master Plan
Prepared by: Yun Cho, Chief Information Systems Officer
Submitted by: Pam Ehler, Director of Finance and Information Systems
Receive and file the Strategic Technology Master Plan.
On February 28, 2006, the City Council authorized the City Manager to sign a
Professional Services Agreement with ClientFirst Consulting Group to develop
an Information Systems Strategic Technology Master Plan.
On July 25, 2006, the City Council accepted the First Quarter 2006/07 Update
on the City Council Two Year Action Plan. The Strategic Technology Master
Plan is included in the City Council’s Two Year Action Plan.
The Information Systems Division provides the infrastructure and technology
as well as support to enable the City to operate and perform day to day
business. As the City grows, it is essential to develop a “roadmap” or
strategic plan that will provide the City with the necessary steps and
planning tool that is consistent with the long and short range business
goals of the City. As part of this process, ClientFirst Consulting Group was
hired to evaluate the City’s current systems and provide a framework to
support the evolving needs of the City.
The Strategic Technology Master Plan was based on the following Information
Technology (IT) goals.
• Increase user productivity with our users.
• Increase the quality of service.
• Increase network/software integration efficiencies.
To accomplish these goals, the process to develop the Plan allowed staff to
go into great detail and take an in depth look at user needs, future needs
as well as technology trends.
The steps taken to develop the Master Plan included four phases:
• Phase 1: Organization and Technology Needs Assessment
• Phase 2: Technology Initiative Identification
• Phase 3: Planning and Prioritization Development
• Phase 4: Strategic Planning Report Development
As part of Phase 1, ClientFirst and City staff worked together to compile
current hardware, software, uses and capabilities. There were multiple
meetings with City departments identifying needs, uses and deficiencies. As
part of Phase 2, data was evaluated from departmental interviews and
documented. A list of short term and long range objectives were created.
Phase 3 includes the planning phase which set priorities based upon;
potential improvement in services, costs, productivity, budgetary
constraints, risk, schedule, and staffing levels. Phase 4 included the
development of the Strategic Planning Report which includes background,
findings, strategies, justification, cost and preliminary time frames for
implementation. This phase also includes steps, strategy and dependencies in
order for successful project development.
The Strategic Technology Master Plan is a forward thinking Plan which will
allow staff to remain ahead of the curve. Over the past year, the
Information Systems (IS) Division in addition to working on the Plan with
ClientFirst, has implemented some of the identified initiatives such as
staff training and replacing the work order system with Help Desk software.
There are numerous projects included within the Plan. Some of the projects
include; Windows 2003 Design & Replacement, a citywide network connectivity
plan, document management, inventories and consolidations, program
reconfigurations, IT best practices, design and implementation
methodologies, telecommunication and network management. The Plan goes
beyond our current Disaster Recovery plan by recommending a redundant site
to our Data Center.
The Plan provides detailed information on how to achieve goals. Each project
will be evaluated and a cost benefit analysis will be performed on a project
prior to implementation. Staff will evaluate processes as well as cost prior
to implementation in order to remain as fiscally sound and effective as
possible. Projects that require budget adjustments and modifications will be
brought forward for City Council consideration.
Implementation will be done on a project by project basis. Implementation of
the Plan has already begun and could take up to ten years to fully
implement. The Plan will improve the overall reliability, integrity and
resilience of Brentwood’s business data networks and technology systems.
Staff recommends accepting the Strategic Technology Master Plan.
Acceptance of this Plan does not authorize specific projects or additional
funding. Staff will bring forward all projects that are not currently funded
for Council consideration on a project by project basis at a future date.
Report Summary of Strategic Technology Master Plan
Strategic Technology Master Plan
March 21, 2007
“Uncompromising Client Service Begins Here”
The following report summarizes ClientFirst Consulting Group’s (ClientFirst’s)
findings and recommendations for the City of Brentwood Strategic Technology
Master Plan. ClientFirst utilized the following phased approach in
developing the Master Plan:
Phase 1: Organization and Technology Needs Assessment
Phase 2: Technology Strategy and Initiative Identification
Phase 3: Planning and Prioritization
Phase 4: Strategic Planning Report Development
ClientFirst reviewed the existing network configuration, conducted
performance tests to determine actual utilization, reviewed critical
infrastructure components, and interviewed the Information Technology (IT)
staff and other departments. Through a series of workshops, we reviewed our
findings and recommendations with the City and jointly developed the
priorities and project timelines that are included in the plan. We commend
the City of Brentwood IT staff for their professional attitude and customer
service orientation. It is our belief that the IT function as a whole is
performing well and, with the implementation of the recommendations below,
will be performing at a very high level of effectiveness.
Citywide Network Connectivity Master Plan
Develop a long-range master plan for high-speed, wired and wireless
connectivity throughout the City. The recommended Master Plan will summarize
all connectivity requirements of City departments, other government
organizations, and the business community and will layout a road map for
fulfillment of those requirements and outline a long-term, phased plan to
implement current and future technologies to satisfy the requirements.
Also included in the initiative are recommendations for improvement to the
specifications for Developer Conduit Construction Requirements,
documentation of existing conduit, and a multi-phase approach to
documentation and verification of existing conduit.
Develop an IT Project Inventory and a mechanism for consensus-building
regarding IT priorities. The initiative recommends a methodology for
improved integration of IT project prioritization and departmental business
needs and objectives through the use of an IT Steering Committee.
The recommendations from this initiative will assist IT in aligning staff
skill sets and training plans with Brentwood’s future needs. Moving forward,
Brentwood should develop additional project management and network
engineering skills. In the long term, business analysis skill sets may be
considered as an addition to the department.
Selection Best Practices – Best-of-Breed versus Integrated Systems
We believe that municipal applications systems and IT infrastructure are
most effective if Integrated Systems and consistent platforms are utilized
as much as possible. For mid-sized cities, the incremental benefits of
picking specific best-of-breed applications are quickly overcome by
increased complexity and support costs.
Design and Implementation Methodologies
The plan envisions an increased emphasis in system life-cycle methodologies
to reduce project risk and improve quality. We include a discussion of
project steps appropriate for IT at Brentwood. The consultants recommend a
specific project implementation methodology that has been very successful
for other Cities.
IT Best Practices - General
Recommendations for improvements to specific areas of IT:
• Asset and License Management: Create a central database and storage of
additional documentation to track assets and, if necessary, prove software
• Internal Application Development: Create a single, consistent application
development platform with appropriate tool sets
• PC Imaging: Provide recommendations for improved utilization of
productivity software to image PCs and reduce configuration time
• Help Desk Measurements: Implement basic Help Desk metrics to track
performance and improve oversight.
Call distribution and data, video, and voice network integration strategy
discussion and recommendations are included in this initiative. The City
must determine if the current voice platform provides the long-term
flexibility required to satisfy the City’s growth and customer service
plans. Primary consideration should be given to customer service and City
call-taking needs for routing and reporting on citizen calls to various
Upgrade all City file servers to Windows 2003. As a part of the upgrade, the
City should consider leveraging Windows Active Directory to improve security
and reduce administrative tasks.
Develop long-range plan to create system redundancies and automatic
failover. The plan requires additional fiber-optic interconnectivity to
Public Works and suggests redundant connections to AT&T for internet and
backup data network access.
User Training – Productivity and Office Software
We recommend that City staff receive additional Microsoft Office training.
This training will better leverage existing features in the MS Office
products and reduce staff dependence on IT support. We outlined an approach
for the development and delivery of citywide software training in the
Provide recommendations for network management products and processes that
will improve staff effectiveness and system performance. These include
immediate product recommendations for network baselining, alerts and alarms,
bandwidth management and control, network equipment log consolidation and
organization, and network equipment management.
These products can be implemented over time. Bandwidth management and
control, equipment log consolidation, and network equipment management will
all require the assistance of an expert third party. The following diagram
depicts events, processes and/or tools that will enhance IT’s ability to
more effectively manage the City’s network infrastructure.
Public Access Channels (Cable Television)
This initiative describes a strategic vision for City cable television
(public access channel) content development and delivery. We recommend that
space be found for the construction of a control room and studio. The
audio/visual equipment in these rooms will be portable, and can be moved to
the new City Hall when appropriate. Following occupancy of the studio, we
believe the City should acquire a mobile audio/visual control room for use
in producing City events such as parades and concerts.
Disaster Recovery Planning
Currently, IT is in the process of developing the Disaster Recovery Plan.
The draft Plan we reviewed provides an excellent start and contains initial
prioritization for network equipment and servers restoration. In order to
complete the Plan, we recommend that the City review recovery/restoration
priorities based on Departmental applications requirements. Following
development of the Plan, the City should perform tests of portions of the
Plan on a periodic basis. Over the long term, the City will be able to
modify the Disaster Recovery Plan to incorporate any changes that may result
from a potential partnership with the City of Antioch.
Web Site Development
The existing City Web site is functional and informative. The Web site is
centrally maintained and the content is developed and posted to the Web by
IT and user departments. We recommend that the City formalize a process that
provides individual departments will both the responsibility and the
capability to, within guidelines, develop, review and post department
specific content directly to the Web. The development of this process will
require the creation of policies, procedures, and technical tools to ensure
consistent look-and-feel on the site; high-quality, pertinent content; and
adequate reviews prior to posting of changes to the site.
The City necessarily maintains and manages many different applications
systems for the various departments. As the City grows, the number of these
applications will continue to grow over time. Many of these applications can
be integrated into a Windows 2003 Active Directory structure, but other
products maintain separate user ID and passwords. This requires staff to
keep track of multiple user IDs and passwords, it also creates significant
inconvenience, increases security risk and IT support costs. The primary
increase in security risk is due to the fact that most staff cannot keep
track of their user IDs and passwords without writing them down. Additional
IT support is required to create and maintain the various user IDs. The City
should consider implementing a product to reduce the number of user IDs and
passwords and to integrate management of these items into Active Directory.
Document Management Solutions Needs Assessment
We recommend that the City conduct an independent Needs Assessment and Gap
Analysis to determine the variance between current uses of Laserfiche and
City needs for document and records management. City should explore
standardizing on a single document records and agenda management system for
Centralized Land/Parcel Management
Consider utilizing the GIS database as the master for address/parcel
records. All updates of information from external and internal sources
should first be done through the GIS system by GIS staff. Then updates to
other systems would be done using the GIS master information. Strict control
of who is authorized to make updates of this information should be enforced
and, typically, made only by GIS staff. Additionally, limiting the number of
vendor provided geo-based applications (e.g., single, citywide work order
solution and an integrated community development suite of applications) will
also help simplify the processes and improve accuracy and efficiencies.
Tower (Refuse Management) / INCODE (Utility Billing) Interface and Business
Conduct a needs assessment with an independent consultant to evaluate the
needs and capabilities of both systems to accomplish the combined and
department-specific requirements. Determine the most efficient and
cost-effective solution to accomplish both departments’ needs (mutual and
independent). This will involve defining in detail how the interfaces should
be written, as well as potential operational/work-flow changes.
Community Development and Land Management Application Suite
Consider purchasing a fully integrated Community Development Suite of
Applications, including Project Planning and Zoning, Permits, Inspections,
Code Enforcement, Land Parcel Management and Mobile Workforce capability.
Significant productivity gains should be realized by multiple departments
working from a single, fully integrated suite of applications. Utilizing a
comprehensive, structured system selection process to identify detailed
feature/function requirements tailored to the City of Brentwood will build
consensus among multiple departments, and ensure the procurement of the most
Mobile Application Access – Police, Community Development, Public Works, and
Parks & Recreation
A citywide wireless and/or fiber-optic network with comprehensive coverage
and high bandwidth may be necessary to accomplish the stated needs of all
departments needing mobile application access to their business
applications. Strategies within the “Citywide Network Connectivity Master
Plan” initiative (above) explain various options.
Maintenance and Asset Management (Work Orders) Application Suite – Mainsaver
Replacement for Public Works and Parks & Recreation
Consider purchasing a fully integrated Work Orders, Preventative
Maintenance, and Citizen Contact Management solution to be utilized by all
departments. The two departments with greatest usage would be Public Works
and Parks & Recreation. Significant productivity gains should be realized by
these related divisions working from a single, fully-integrated suite of
applications. Utilizing a comprehensive, structured system selection process
identify detailed feature/function requirements tailored to the City of
Brentwood will build consensus among multiple departments and ensure the
procurement of the most cost-effective solution.