David Shinavier, Barry County information technology (IT) and geographic information system (GIS) coordinator gave county commissioners a report on the state of the county’s information technology system last week.
Led by Shinavier, the staff includes Rose Anger, half time GIS tech, half time appraiser; Aaron Staines, network administrator and Matt Ward, desktop technician.
Computers came to the mapping department in 1991, hiring an IT/GIS coordinator in in 1999. From the mid- 2000’s the computer service expanded to other county agencies “with good steady growth,” including the sheriff’s office, county courts, COA, transit, Charlton Park, animal shelter, central dispatch and in 2017, the road commission.
The computer system has about 650 devices it supports, Shinavier said. The county website, barrycounty.org was outsourced to Revise.com in 2016, with a five -year agreement and redesign at the end of the contract.
The website is visited about 600 times a day, Fetch about 300 hits a day and the clerk gets some 76 visits a day. Telephone/Internet service is provided by MEI for $600 a month, standard telephone service by AT&T for $1,800 a month and PRI internet by Iserv for $420 a month.
Protection of the computer system is paramount.
“This is what keeps us up at night,” Shinavier said: disaffected employees, viruses/malware, remote access, fire, water, sabotage, data loss, data integrity, public embarrassment, and loss of production.
The system as several levels of security, employee training and use policy, e-mail spam and virus filters that take out 70 to 85 percent of spam coming in, along with firewalls, endpoint scanners, subnetting, and security and backup policies.
“Foreign companies bombard our system…just twenty percent of the traffic is business,” he said.
They keep upgrading equipment and are always looking for upgrading standards.
Shinavier said the department had several points of emphasis: employee education/training, network security, incident response/mitigation, improving application stability, and increasing productivity.
The IT/LIS department is funded by the data processing fund; planned major projects include phone replacement in one to two years, new service to the jail and COA, a new server cluster in three or four years, backup drive in three to four years, and cloud apps and security enhancements, he said.
The county has a “significant investment” of $600,000 in computer assets in equipment right now, Shinavier said.