The Mayor's Blog

Mayor Jill Dabbs

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Aug 06

Technology Advancements - City of Bryant, Arkansas

Posted on August 6, 2014 at 3:45 PM by The Mayors Office

Technology Advancements - City of Bryant, Arkansas

Over the past three years the city has put a bold foot forward and harnessed the smart tools necessary to better serve and sustain its people and employees.  We have placed an emphasis on making government more accessible, connected, and cost effective when choosing our system.   We then contracted a proven, big-picture, technology firm to develop and implement our system.  That firm would also provided the day-to-day support of a traditional information technology (IT) department without the associated in-house costs and limitations.  The end result was a city-wide, fully integrated communication system that is more responsive to the community.  

This journey started in October 2011 when the IT contractor took an inventory of all city technology being used.  Simultaneously, the City staff looked at all duties being performed by each person in each department and determined if there was an alternative tool, program, or method that would do the job more productively and at a lower cost.  Costly, licensed-based software packages were replaced with Google Drive and Gmail, a remote system which improved productivity and connectivity through document sharing.  This reduced risk of data loss and cost of data management as well.

Thanks to results-oriented contractors, motivated management and a committed staff over the next three years, we were able to set and meet many technology improvement goals, such as :

  • Rebuild a crumbling network for all city departments and establish a reliable backup and disaster recovery plan

  • Develop, build and launch a new interactive, dynamic website;

  • Bring our Laserfiche, paperless documentation system up to full operational potential by installing a designated server and by cross-training a wider base of city personnel to take full advantage of this digital document management system;   

  • Make our city government more accessible and efficient by uploading documents such as ordinances, resolutions and council minutes to the City website and server for quick retrieval from any workstation;

  • Expedite work orders and  improve project management through  implementation of iWORQ, work management program, in the departments of Public Works, Code Enforcement, Animal Control and MS4 Stormwater;  

  • Improve news and information sharing with staff through the development of an intranet site;

  • Replace our outdated telecommunications system with advanced software and equipment including desk phones, smart phones and tablets for improved communication capabilities;

  • Install large monitors in public meeting places, conference rooms and offices to improve public communication and reduce paper usage;  

  • Update and streamline Public Safety with new communications and monitoring equipment in Dispatch Control and emergency vehicles;  

  • the last goal would be to link these improvements and components into one integrated system and train personnel to maximize the potential use of these new tools.

I am incredibly proud of the technological advancements we have made within the city since I have taken office. I have watched city offices go from operating as individual silos, to working as one cohesive and cooperative organization.  Much of that cooperative performance is credited to the efficiency and communication that has been implemented through our technological advancements.

Next week:  The City of Bryant Website and how it works for you.