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Racine County, Wis., Looks to Lease Tech, Not Buy

The county executive said leasing computers through a private company could save $400,000.

by Ricardo Torres, The Journal Times / October 23, 2018
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(TNS) — In previous budgets, the county government would set money aside to buy the latest computers and software for different departments. It was a necessary but costly endeavor.

Now the county believes it has found a different, cheaper way to have the latest technology without all the spending.

In his proposed 2019 budget, Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave is asking the County Board to approve allowing the county to enter into a contract to lease computers from a private company.

“After two or three years, you’re not getting the latest technology,” Delagrave said to The Journal Times during a budget briefing meeting. “And you’re already on the hook for an annual payment for the software and sometimes the computers would not be simultaneously matched with the software.”

The county anticipates saving roughly $400,000 by leasing new technology than by buying new computers.

In the proposed 2019 budget, the county has budgeted $150,000 for software subscription which is $50,000 more than last year. Last year the county leased slightly more than $47,000 worth of computers and does not plan to do that again this year.

Interns from Start IT, a county program aimed to help 18- to 24-year-olds get started in a career in technology, are to be the ones helping set up any new programs or computers for county officials as a way of getting some hands-on experience.

Cybersecurity

As cybersecurity becomes more of a concern in society in general, the county plans to stay up to date with security for its technology.

“We recognize that cybersecurity in the last few years has been a big issue,” Delagrave said. “The integrity of our IT system is important not only to the services we deliver but to our taxpayers.”

Delagrave said county officials recognize the need to pay attention to the county’s cybersecurity “so we’re not hacked.”

While cybersecurity is often correlated with the federal government, Delagrave said it is just as important at the local level.

“If our IT system goes down, that’s one of our lifelines,” Delagrave said.

The County Board is evaluating the 2019 budget and is likely to vote on it in November.

©2018 The Journal Times, Racine, Wisc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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