Department of Information Technology
The Information Systems Department’s function is to provide and assist departments in creating innovative solutions to meet customer requirements. The department is taking a leadership role in providing a strategic IS orientation, assessing and acquiring appropriate technology, and looking for opportunities to use information technology to lead to service innovations in the interest of providing improved levels of service to the public. Information Systems is responsible for supporting the primary information resources for County departments and maintaining the network and workstation architecture needed to provide access to use these information assets.
The Board of Commissioners in conjunction with the Controller, Department Directors and Supervisors have been formulating the Crawford County Technology Plan. This plan identifies its automation goals for the next five years. The plan covers both county-wide and department specific objectives and discusses the need to provide technical support using in-house staff and/or experienced system integrators.
Personal Computers and Work Stations
In the government complex, there are one hundred personal computers, display terminals, laptop computers, and printers that are implemented throughout County departments with all of them accessing one of the three network currently in place. The majority of the County inventory consists of PC’s with Intel motherboards operating under Windows 10. The network-connected PC is well established as the primary access point to County information systems resources based on midrange systems and network servers. Information Systems installs, maintains, and provides ongoing user support for all of the computer hardware, software, and peripherals at the user’s desktop. All of these computer devices (PCs, terminals, printers, switches, hubs, routers, etc.) are managed by this department.
Access to all County information resources is provided through an NT network architecture. Most departments are linked on a common fiber backbone using 1 gbps fast Ethernet switches. This interconnectivity facilitates efficient use of information resources and also serves as a key communications resource by extending electronic mail capabilities to a majority of County employees. Windows NT products constitute the foundation of the County’s network environment, supporting network links for about all pc devices attaching to our primary local area networks in the County’s government complex. Firewalls protects the computer networks from outside influences. For security reasons, the specifics of the firewalls have been internally left off of this web site. Information Systems is responsible for maintaining a secure and stable network environment which is flexible and scaleable to meet the changing needs of County users.
An IBM AS/400 computer system and Microsoft Windows 2021 servers are in place supporting all critical County functions including: Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement, Computer Aided Dispatching, Finance/Budget/Payroll, Assessment and Taxation, Construction Code, and smaller applications. We are using virtualization technology within the various departments and, as a result, lowers costs and increases efficiency of our existing hardware. The IBM AS/400 is used exclusively for providing support for the 87th District Court functions. Information System’s commitment to host based systems includes operational support, system enhancement, and planning for future systems. The AS400 system for Police and Corrections Software was retired in July 2018. We have transitioned to cloud base software management systems for all law enforcement applications. The Circuit and Family Court has transitioned to TCS/Web TCS systems as implemented by the Michigan Supreme Courts JIS (Judicial Information Systems). The 46th Circuit Trial court has transitioned to the new TCS (Trial Court System) applications and is fully operational.
The County has committed to Microsoft Windows operating systems and the Microsoft Office Suite (word processing, spreadsheet, graphics, database) as the standard for desktop solutions for a majority of employees.
Information Systems serves as a consultant and strategic partner to all County departments to develop technical solutions in support of business functions. The information technology environment continues to evolve towards increased openness and integration between systems. This translates into the potential for increased productivity through effective implementation of investments in technology. Technology initiatives currently in progress include: network enhancements, pilot projects for imaging and work flow technology, expansion of Internet utilization to improve public access to County information, and mobile computing to assist with future planning and decision making support for future growth. Utilization of Cloud programs are in the planning or development phase at this time.
A new telephone system with utilization of VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) was implemented in 2021. The Sheriff’s Office began to use new WatchGuard technology Body Cams in 2021.