The Ottumwa Courier

April 4, 2013

County reviews IT concerns

CINDY TOOPES
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — Technology is an integral part of today’s world; the need to stay on top of that technology remains a constant concern for those in local government.

That was part of the message Wednesday during a meeting with members of the Wapello County Board of Supervisors and technology officials from around the state.

Currently, Wapello County employs one information technology (IT) employee, Jordan Scupien, the county’s geographic information system coordinator. Having Scupien is certainly better than no IT staff, but the county is looking at what would make his job and the county’s technology issues more streamlined and effective.

“We don't have an IT department and have to farm out our computer needs to other organizations,” said Supervisor Greg Kenning

Shorly after Scupien’s hire, the supervisors began to hear from county departments about the county’s “dial-up system,” whether there were too many servers in the county and more.

It’s the 21st Century “and we’re still doing the ‘paper shuffle,’” Kenning said, adding the technology “becomes obsolete too quickly.”

Scupien met with IT employees from six other counties Wednesday to tour the Wapello County Courthouse and discuss any infrastructure problems and to “do some trouble-shooting.”

Scupien invited Scott Williams, the IT director for Marshall County, to size up what Wapello County needs. Williams said he has a staff of five people and the change has meant better service and less cost. His IT budget now claims 6 percent of the county’s budget.

Scupien said he’s studying various networks and how to build them so Wapello County gets better service and cuts costs.

“We brought in a group that would know what to look for so we can get more bang for our buck,” Scupien said. “We’ll report on how well we’re doing with the technology we have. Now we have a good idea of what works well and what to do now.”