Cook County Named Top Ten Digital County by the Center for Digital Government
COOK COUNTY — For three years in a row, the Center for Digital Government (CDG) named Cook County one of America's Top 10 Digital Counties with a population of more than one million. The 2022 award identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage collaboration and shared services or enhance cybersecurity.
The award ceremony was held today at the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual conference in Adams County, Colorado. The CDG’s Digital Counties Survey provides an annual measure of performance and innovation by counties throughout the U.S. in using technology.
In this 20th annual survey, the CDG and NACo were looking for counties that align technologies with their governmental goals; save tax dollars through newfound efficiencies; boost transparency, cybersecurity and engagement; and innovate through unique and exciting projects.
“I’m grateful to be recognized for our efforts to leverage technology to support Cook County’s mission,” said Cook County Chief Information Officer Tom Lynch. “Under President Preckwinkle, Cook County has seen more transformative new technologies than at any time in its history – it's completely unprecedented.”
Cook County, the nation’s second-largest county by population, completed several major projects in the past year, including completing a five-year, $25 million project to upgrade its telecommunications system to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). Over 21,000 phone lines were replaced over the course of the project.
Cook County was also recognized for completing engineering work for its south suburban broadband expansion. Also, this year Cook County hired its first Director of Digital Equity, Kyla Williams Tate.
There are many large initiatives underway in Cook County including hiring more than 50 new personnel for the Bureau of Technology using American Rescue Plan funds. Recognizing the importance of system interoperability and system integration, Cook County is adding a dedicated team for IT architecture, and to ensure continuity of operations and prevent data loss, Cook County is adding a dedicated Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity team.
Cook County “demonstrates a collaborative and user-focused approach in much of its work,” according to a Government Technology Magazine article about the Digital Counties Survey. “Regular meetings with information security officials in other jurisdictions have yielded positive results and new initiatives such as an impending identity and access management procurement, and county IT brought in users to test and improve on projects ranging from a new budget website to a COVID-19 vaccination rollout map.”
“Our nation’s top counties continue to succeed and deliver on key services, breaking down barriers to broadband connectivity and accessibility, building upon innovative and smart initiatives that enable government to better plan for and protect their citizens, constituents, and assets,” said Brian Cohen, vice-president, CDG. “The Center for Digital Government is excited to recognize and congratulate this year’s winners for their accomplishments and continuing efforts to use technology to make government better.”