County preparing for long, painful technology upgrade

by John Holler, Correspondent-

For years, Wright County has addressed the collection, inputting, retention, and sharing of data on an individual department basis. As a result, the data system used in the Human Services Department, Information Technology Department, Parks Department, Sheriff’s Department, etc. all operate on separate data systems that have little to no integration between them. That may soon change, as the Wright County Board of Commissioners voted at its Dec. 26 meeting to move forward with talks with Infotech Inc. about the potential of entering into an agreement for a massive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project. Commissioner Mark Daleiden said that there has been a tremendous amount of duplication and repetition in the county’s system of departmental data collection and that an ERP system would help greatly streamline the process. “There is far too much repetition because for years individual departments have operated separately from the other departments,” Daleiden said. “We have a dozen different ways of doing things under the one roof in the county. It’s confusing. It creates a lot of additional work for employees and there is a lot of redundancy.” An ERP would not only bring all of the systems in line as one cohesive system moving forward, it would save money on about a dozen technology projects that are on the list of things to do in the future. The county previously used Infotech to determine how to proceed with the initial upgrading of the Information Technology Department in 2016 and had a good experience with the company. The issues with going with an ERP are two-fold. First is the cost; depending on what the county looks to implement, the initial cost estimates have an extremely wide range – from $500,000 to $4 million. Daleiden said if it reached the high end of that scale, he doubted the county board would support that kind of financial commitment.

 

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