Long-term IT plan pitched to council
Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 06:00 am
City council was presented with the Information Technology Services (ITS) long-term plan Monday night, but not all councillors were on board with the findings.
The plan, presented by Director of IT Gordon Coulman, suggests the city’s IT department’s budget be more competitive with other companies and governments. Coulman’s report chose to avoid making any serious cost assessments until budget time.
“We wanted to avoid talking about money for now,” he said.
Despite the assurances, page 20 of the report does list some tentative “benchmarks” that would more than double the IT department’s budget in three years.
The report doesn’t mention dollar amounts and instead suggests increasing the IT funds from 1.59 per cent of overall city operating costs to 3.6 per cent.
“I don’t like the idea of increasing the budget in fixed percentages,” said Councillor Sheena Hughes. “I think information is missing from this plan. We need to know exactly where this money is going.”
The numbers are currently only projections, but they may become a reality at budget season. Coulman stressed that a high quality IT department can lower costs in other departments.
“IT is a force multiplier, it increases efficiency and profitability internally,” said Coun. Cam Mackay. “The problem is, what departments are going to be cut to meet these projections? The public sees us working on roads and cutting grass, but this is internal. The public will never see this.”
The plan was expected to cost $75,000, but Coulman completed it for only a third of the cost by doing the report himself.
Currently, a third of city employees use mobile devices in their job. One of the goals of the plan is to make those employees more productive.
A motion to approve the ITS long-term plan was passed unanimously.