Founded in 1842 and located just southeast of Charlotte, Union County has remained in North Carolina’s Top 10 fastest-growing counties since 2010. As Union County continues to grow and its economy flourishes, the county managers and executive team have realized the urgency for efficiency in operations and technology to properly and effectively serve its citizens.

In early 2020, the county partnered with Avèro to review the current state of technologies, staffing, resources, and service delivery model county-wide through a comprehensive Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure and Staffing Analysis. As part of this engagement, Avèro’s team worked closely with key stakeholders (e.g., department heads, business process owners) from 24 departments to gather insights regarding the existing environment.

With an in-depth look into every angle of Union County’s current platform, Avèro performed various analyses (i.e., SWOT analysis) to identify the critical challenges and opportunities for improvement to mitigate the gaps in IT staff levels, infrastructure, processes and operations. The key findings allowed our project team to identify and develop an Infrastructure Strategic Plan & Roadmap, which included a series of actionable strategic recommendations designed to alleviate the identified gaps between the current state and the desired state.

Below are some highlights from the Infrastructure Strategic Plan and Roadmap that Avèro identified and provided to Union County:

Establish and deploy remote workforce protocols

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic led to county employees’ need to work remotely. In response to the pandemic, Avèro recommended IT Department adjustments to implement in terms of staffing, tools, and service delivery. The detailed action steps enabled the county to offer superior service to their end-user community efficiently and cost-effectively through environmental factors (i.e., health crisis.)

Conduct enterprise software system audits

Audits of the organization’s current enterprise business systems help the county understand ongoing system use, identify future needs, and determine if the existing systems are the most optimal Union solutions. Avèro suggested that a series of IT audits for various software systems across the county were vital to be executed for enhancements in operations and service delivery. The identified software systems for audits included Tyler Munis, RouteMatch, InfoVision, and Northwoods Compass solutions.

Introduce self-service processes and tools

The lack of a self-service portal for vendor management and human resource management purposes led to a series of cumbersome and manual processes that unnecessarily produced costs in time and workforce. Through the strategy of IT system audits, Avèro recommended the county to procure and implement a Vendor Self-Service portal to enhance efficiency during the procurement process. An employee self-service portal was also needed to allow Union County employees to access HR-related information, compensation information quickly, and benefits information. These modern technology features would help modernize management processes and enable the county to become more tactical, increase efficiency, and drive down costs.

Develop fiber optic network plan

Avèro suggested developing a fiber optic network plan to assist in commencing the planning efforts around the establishment of a fiber-optic network as a county asset. The development of a fiber asset would reduce long-term telecommunication costs for the organization, enable enhanced connectivity and functionality in intelligent systems through the county, and provide fast, reliable connectivity for telemetry monitoring of critical county utility infrastructure. The fiber planning strategy would also allow Union County to offer interconnection for data and service sharing between the county and other local government organizations.

IT Strategic Plan implementation and support

Following the completion of the IT Infrastructure and Staffing Assessment, Avèro and Union County moved forward with the implementation of the strategic recommendations proposed within the strategic roadmap:

Restructure IT Department

Our team develops a new organizational structure for the County’s IT Department, including conducting restructuring sessions with key county staff, redefining roles & responsibilities, and identifying new job descriptions & catalog of IT services.

Develop service level agreements, IT policies and procedures manual

Avèro assists in documenting the existing IT policies and guiding the county’s IT Department in the establishment of the new IT policy & procedure manual and Services Level Agreements (SLAs) to efficiently govern the usage of county equipment and software by the end-user community.

Union County, North Carolina

“Avèro is an excellent resource in the IT governance space. They are clear communicators, honest, and have a wide range of technical expertise. They assisted with implementing project management into our IT department, gave us an understanding of the importance of responsibility delineation, and vendor management. The Avèro team is excellent to work with and go the extra mile to provide quality work to their clients.”

Christopher Liersaph

Assistant Director of IT

Union County

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