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Ten Principles of IT

In addition to the Department of Information Technology's goals, Information Technology (IT) projects and processes will be guided by ten fundamental principles.

  1. Our ultimate goal is to provide citizens, the business community, and city employees with timely, convenient access to appropriate information and services through the use of information technology.
  2. Business needs drive information technology solutions. Strategic partnerships will be established between the stakeholders and the IT department so that the benefits of technology maximize the productivity of city employees and improve customer services.
  3. Evaluate business processes in partnership with departments for redesign opportunities before automating them. Use new technologies to make new business methods a reality. Exploit functional commonality across organizational boundaries.
  4. Manage Information Technology as an investment.
    1. Annually allocate funds sufficient to replace systems and equipment before end of life. Address project and infrastructure requirements through a multi-year planning and funding strategy.
    2. Manage spending efficiently across the investment portfolio.
    3. Look for cost-effective approaches to improving legacy systems. Designate systems as "retired" where appropriate and plan their modernization. This approach will help extend investments and system utility.
    4. Invest in education and training so that technical staff in central IT and in user departments understand and can use current and future technologies.
  5. Implement contemporary, but proven, technologies. The City of Wichita will stay abreast of emerging trends through an ongoing program of technology evaluation. New technologies will be introduced through pilot projects where both the automation and its business benefits and cost can be evaluated prior to full-scale adoption.
  6. Hardware and software shall adhere to vendor-independent standards and shall aim to minimize proprietary solutions. This approach promotes flexibility, inter-operability, cost effectiveness, and mitigates the risk of dependence upon individual vendors.
  7. Provide a solid technology infrastructure as the fundamental building block of the city's IT architecture to reliably support the performance and security of the city’s information assets. Manage and maintain the enterprise network as an essential communications channel connecting people to information. Use contemporary server platforms and workstations to provide computing resources. Access for both internal and external connectivity, will be flexible, expandable, maintainable; fully integrated, and use open standards. Additionally it will move data, graphics, image, video, and voice unimpeded.
  8. Approach IT undertakings as a partnership of central management with departments providing a combination of centralized and distributed implementation. Combine the responsibility and knowledge of central management, department staff, as well as outside contract support, within a consistent framework of city IT architecture and standards. Establish strategic cooperative arrangements among public and private enterprises to extend limited resources.
  9. Consider the purchase and integration of top quality, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software requiring minimal customization as the first choice to speed the delivery of new business applications. This will require IT and department collaboration on identifying, investigating and redesigning existing work processes to be compatible with common practices. Because certain departments operate under business practices established in response to specific local interpretations and constraints, the institutionalization of these common business practices may make the acquisition of COTS software infeasible. IT will develop applications using modern, efficient methods and labor saving tools in a collaborative application development environment following architectural framework and standards. Information architecture supported by a repository for common information (e.g., databases, files, records, methods, application inventories) repeatable processes and infrastructures will be created, shared and reused.
  10. Capture data only once in order to avoid cost, duplication of effort and the potential for error; share the data whenever possible. Establish and use common data and common databases fully. Consider the establishment of a data administration function to be responsible for establishing and enforcing data policy, data sharing and access, data standardization, data quality, identification and consistent use of key corporate identifiers.