Located in the Portland metropolitan area, Wilsonville is a progressive, fast-growing, medium-sized city in Oregon. With a population of approximately 20,000 people, according to the 2010 Census information, the City of Wilsonville is home to a variety of high-tech businesses and is one of the area’s premier suburbs for professionals working in Portland to the North, and the State capital of Salem to the South.

The City of Wilsonville’s Information Services (IS) department, which consisted of three full-time professionals, provided support for public-facing interfaces as well as daily business operations for the agency. As the city has grown over the years, the IS department recognized that the team was not adequately equipped to continue its services and meet the organization’s business needs efficiently and effectively.

The following items were some deficiencies that the City of Wilsonville’s IS department underwent:

  • Lack of automated integration with permitting and utility billing
  • Absence of formalized IT policies
  • Deficiency of leveraged integration with ERP/Financial system
  • No IT procurement process for projects outside the strategic planning process
  • Duplication of data and system functionality
  • Lack of formal skill gap management process, succession plan
  • Lack of hiring and retention plan
  • Incomplete fiber business plan
  • Heavy manual and paper-based processes
  • Lack of IS customer service
  • Absence of email archival system and insufficient attachment size allowance

Acknowledging the urgency of resolving these deficiencies, the City of Wilsonville retained the consulting services of MindBoard Inc. for the development of a comprehensive IT Strategic Plan (ITSP) in 2016. Abhijit Verekar, who used to work as a Principal Consultant at MindBoard, helped identify areas for improvement and development as well as prioritized strategic recommendations to mitigate gaps based on key findings from preceding analyses (internal and public IS surveys, IT program review, benchmarking, best practices review, etc.).

Adopting these strategic recommendations since 2016, the City of Wilsonville has implemented and accomplished the following milestones:

Hiring an IT Assistant

Lack of IT HelpDesk support position restrained the IS division from delivering an effective quality of customer service and support to its end-users city-wide, which led to inefficiencies and frustration in performing business processes.

The city resolved this issue by hiring a full-time IS Assistant in December 2016, who is now responsible for providing city staff with common HelpDesk services such as desktop, email, and printer related troubleshooting, as well as basic training.

This IT staff also maintains an inventory of hardware and software across the city, leads the rollout of new computers/devices as needed, and allows experienced IS resources to perform higher level, strategic tasks.

Developing a Fiber Business Plan

The city’s undefined roadmap for fiber network implementation led to an incomplete fiber business plan. Additionally, the city’s network integration with the county did not cover all the city’s facilities and remote assets, such as Wi-Fi availability in its parks.

After various information collected from key stakeholder interviews, as well as public online surveys, the City of Wilsonville completed the development of its Fiber Business Plan and has begun the implementation by installing conduit in projects that are currently under construction.

This plan will function as a guideline to help inform the City Council on decisions regarding fiber investment, reduce long-term telecommunications costs for the organization, and enable enhanced connectivity and functionality in intelligent transportation systems throughout the town.

Upgrading the City’s Email System

The city’s self-hosted Microsoft Exchange application reached its end of life, lacked an archiving tool, and was burdened by email and attachment size limitations. The City of Wilsonville kept the self-hosted Exchange solution in place and upgraded to Exchange Server 2016 in the summer of 2017. This upgrade provides city staff with automated email archival features that not only support archiving old emails but also comply with document retention laws.

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