Grand Traverse County Discusses $6.4 Million IT System Upgrade

A big price tag for an IT system upgrade could be necessary to protect those living, and those that used to live, in Grand Traverse County.

County and city commissioners held a joint meeting to look over a requested plan by Epic Technology Solutions.

An audit done in 2016 showed their system was outdated which could pose security risks.

The proposed technology plan would not only help boost security but also provide better services for a lower cost.

After financial data was deleted in October of 2016, staff are hoping a new system could prevent that from happening again.

But with a nearly $60 million budget shortfall, this could be difficult for the county to pay for.

9&10’s Whitney Amann has our top story and more on the plan.

“Prioritize different issues because there’s so many, so many right now, and I think prioritize is the key,” said Ming Mays, director for Grand Traverse Information Technology Department.

That’s how the new Grand Traverse IT director plans to handle an outdated system, possibly putting people’s information at risk.

“It’s not easy to come in at such a difficult time but also it’s a great opportunity I think to go up, we’re in such a hump right now and it’s nothing but up,” said Mays.

The audit done in 2016 showed the current system is outdated.

Epic Technology Solutions was hired to come up with a strategic technology plan and Wednesday night was commissioner’s first chance to see the plan and ask questions.

“The information for anyone who’s ever lived or currently lives in the city and county is hosted in the databases here and if the county and city commission decide not to invest in the technology then they could be putting significant security risks by not providing enough resources to support and secure it,” said Paul Knific, founding partner for Epic Technology Solutions.

But the upgrades come at a hefty price, $6.4 million over five years.

Some concerns were brought up by commissioners and those attending the meeting.

“No matter how much you try to upgrade your system to the very best of the best, it isn’t going to last very long,” said Jackie Gwin. “You’re never ever going to be done and you need to count on that and continually keeping that in your budget.”

City and county commissioners say they still need a lot more time and information before making any decisions.

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