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What steps will you take to support modernization and digitization of operations within the City of Austin?

Rich DePalma

City Council, District 8

I’ve worked with Oracle, Accenture, Kony, RFD & Associates and many other technology companies over the years. I can’t wait to talk about this issue in person. We may have to book an after gathering to go in depth. The city needs an HRIS system – they do paper timecards! There are too many disparate systems being used such as work order management systems and analytic systems. Workflow and mobile workforce solutions need to be implemented as well. So many things need to be improved.

Given the number of departments it is a slow and expensive process with a great learning curve, however I believe our city is embracing innovation and technology albeit not as fast as the public may like. While we have already made a leap into open government, created an Office of Innovation, and working with partners to identify innovative solutions for our challenges, we are just beginning to modernize City of Austin operations.

First and foremost, I would like to see a rapid redevelopment of our City’s website and digital resource access. Our website, austintexas.gov, is not easy to navigate nor is it optimized for mobile devices in any way – this is the number one complaint I have heard from my neighbors and friends regarding our services. We have such a robust offering of services and programs which I believe could and should be easier to navigate and use. Moreover at a time where the majority of online information and communication is taking place on a mobile device, we must make our tools and resources more accessible and robust.

Beyond what the community sees on the website, Austin is making progress in embracing new technologies with internal tools, systems and processes. Lessening our reliance on paper, is a huge first step that addresses both environmental and technological stewardship. I am encouraged by the progress in our Open Government, Open Data and now with the ATA’s own Paperless Census collaboration program. I believe that these are incredibly important projects for transparency and so that we may truly have a digital backbone to the data, programs, and services that Austin has and eliminate redundancies and vulnerabilities in our systems and processes while also identifying gaps…with the added environmental benefit of eliminating paper.