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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 2

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


RECOMMENDATION
Receive and file the Strategic Technology Master Plan.

PREVIOUS ACTION
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.

BACKGROUND
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.

FISCAL IMPACT
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.

Attachments:
Report Summary of Strategic Technology Master Plan









Strategic Technology Master Plan
Summary Report

March 21, 2007





“Uncompromising Client Service Begins Here”


INTRODUCTION
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.
IT INITIATIVES
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.
IT Governance
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.
IT Staffing
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 licensing compliance
• 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.
Telecommunications
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 departments.
Windows Servers
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.
System Resiliency
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 initiative.
Network Management
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.
Single Sign-On
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.

DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATIONS
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 all departments.
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 Process Analysis
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 cost-effective solution.
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 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 cost-effective solution.

 

City Administration
City of Brentwood City Council
150 City Park Way
Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-5440
Fax (925) 516-5441
E-mail allcouncil@brentwoodca.gov