Madison County, Ind., Needs $800K to Move Past Windows 7

Madison County, Ind., is considering spending up to $800,000 in upgrades. That's because computers in all of its offices use Windows 7, a decade-old operating system that Microsoft is ending support for.

by Ken de la Bastide, The Herald Bulletin / March 25, 2019

(TNS) — Just when it appeared Madison County, Ind., was going to see a reduction in long-term spending, the Information Technology Department outlined $800,000 in new expenses.

The county will finish paying off the $1.2 million matching funds for the Eisenhower Bridge project this year.

Lisa Cannon, director of the Information Technology Department, told the Madison County Council on Tuesday that changes being made in Microsoft software will require significant spending by the county.

Starting next Jan. 1, Microsoft will no longer offer support or security for Windows 7, and Indiana is recommending the county upgrade to Windows 10, she said.

It will require new computers for every county office at a cost of between $385,000 and $425,000.

Cannon is exploring a three-year lease to purchase the new computers, increased memory and processing upgrades with a $1 buyout after the end of the lease.

“The bottom line is security,” Cannon said.

Microsoft is also changing the way it issues licenses for the software; that will cost the county an additional $87,000 starting in 2020.

“We’re at their mercy,” Cannon said of the Microsoft software.

Cannon said the county and surrounding public safety agencies need 700 mobile computer terminals at a cost of $147,000.

Each public safety agency will be responsible for the cost of the mobile computer terminals, she said.

The county did not include any funds for new equipment in the IT Department in the 2019 budget.

Cannon requested $50,000 from the county’s general fund for equipment needed immediately and to pay outstanding bills.

The council approved $40,000.

“Last year, we spent $192,000 on new equipment,” she said. “We can’t operate IT without a hardware budget.”

Auditor Rick Gardner said the county has a general fund balance of $6 million, $359,000 in the rainy day fund and $550,000 in the public safety account.

“You have to be very careful with spending in the general fund,” he said. “You need to look for reductions in the future for any additional appropriations.”

Council President Anthony Emery said this year and 2020 will be tight fiscal years for the county.

©2019 The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.). Distributed by ribune Content Agency, LLC.

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