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13th Annual Digital Counties Survey - 2015 Results

The 2015 Digital Counties Survey, now in its 13th year, finds U.S. counties becoming more transparent, creating efficiencies and using social media to connect with citizens.

July 9, 2015 – The Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) have announced the 2015 Digital Counties Survey winners. The annual survey recognizes leading examples of counties using technology to improve services and boost efficiencies. Here’s a look at this year’s first-place winners:

Fairfax County, Va.’s open data portal creates transparency for citizens. The website’s budget pages include a glossary of all budget-related terms and acronyms and a training video to view the county’s operations and how tax dollars are spent. 

Chesterfield County, Va., created strategic planning documents such as Blueprint Chesterfield and the Information Technology Investment Model to align the county’s goals with the technology solutions, supporting county operations and creating cost savings.  

Catawba County, N.C., makes it easier for citizens to connect to information about government services by increasing the use of social media. They have 10 Facebook, five Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and Foursquare accounts and a YouTube channel.

Allegan County, Mich., created a model for other municipalities across the State of Michigan by partnering with two other counties.  They developed a Procurement Consortium that uses a reverse auction process. 

The survey, conducted by CDG and its Digital Communities program, in partnership with NACo, identifies best technology practices among U.S. counties.  

“Congratulations to this year’s winners for their work to continually innovate in an ever-changing technology landscape and proactively address citizen demands and expectations,” said Center for Digital Government Executive Director Todd Sander. 

“Counties across the country are harnessing technology to enhance services, maximize efficiency and save money,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “The Digital Counties Survey recognizes county innovation that strengthens communities and builds a stronger America.”

The Center for Digital Government thanks the underwriters for this year’s survey: Accela, CDW-G, and Laserfiche. 

Congratulations to the 2015 Digital Counties Survey Winners!
500,000 or more population category:
1st Fairfax County, VA
2nd Montgomery County, MD
2nd County of San Diego, CA
3rd Oakland County, MI
3rd Sacramento County, CA
4th Wake County, NC
5th Bexar County, TX
5th King County, WA
6th Orange County, FL
7th County of Alameda, CA
7th Baltimore County, MD
7th Snohomish County, WA
8th Pierce County, WA
8th County of San Bernardino, CA
9th Hennepin County, MN
9th Westchester County, NY
10th Cuyahoga County, OH
10th County of Ventura, CA
250,000-499,999 population category:
1st Chesterfield County, VA
2nd Dutchess County, NY
3rd Jefferson Parish, LA
3rd Sonoma County, CA
4th Loudoun County, VA
5th Leon County, FL
6th Ottawa County, MI
6th Richland County, SC
7th Hamilton County, IN
8th Forsyth County, NC
9th Dauphin County, PA
10th Durham County, NC
150,000-249,999 population category:
1st Catawba County, NC
2nd Arlington County, VA
2nd St. Tammany Parish, LA
3rd Lackawanna County, PA
4th Boone County, MO
4th Charles County, MD
5th Berrien County, MI
6th Oneida County, NY
7th Cabarrus County, NC
7th Davidson County, NC
8th County of Barnstable, MA
9th Dona Ana County, NM
10th Jackson County, MI
10th Mohave County, AZ
Up to 150,000 Population Category
1st Allegan County, MI
2nd Nevada County, CA
3rd Montgomery County, VA
4th Roanoke County, VA
5th Skagit County, WA
6th Gloucester County VA
7th Albemarle County, VA
8th Summit County, UT
9th Tompkins County, NY
10th Franklin County, VA
2015 top 10 technologies and initiatives which are likely to have an increased focus in the next year:
1. Cyber Security
2. Hire and Retain Competent IT Personnel
3. Mobility / Mobile Applications
4. Open Government/ Transparency/ Open Data
5. Disaster Recovery/ Continuity of Operations
6. Budget and Cost Control
7. Virtualization: Server, Desktop/ Client, Storage, Applications
8. Shared Services
9. Portal/ E-government
10. Cloud Computing
How many staff (FTE equivalents) across the enterprise support county IT?
  • 59% have fewer than 100 staff
Top 5 Most Widely Adopted Technologies — Countywide
65% Project Management (Policy and Operations)
63% Transaction Processing
60% Geospatial/ Mapping (GIS)
58% Consolidation (Data Centers, Services, Software, Staff), Privacy and Mobile Devices (Phones and Tablets)
54% Shared Services and Virtualization (Server, Desktop, Client, Storage, Applications)
Top 5 Technologies - Countywide: Will Upgrade/Expand/Replace in 18-24 mos.
51% Security (Cyber and Information)
47% Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Document Management, Workflow
46% Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity, Continuity of Operations, Backup
43% Virtualization (Server, Desktop, Client, Storage, Applications)
42% Network (Broadband and Wireless Infrastructure)
The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on technology policy and best practices in state and local government. CDG is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service.
Center Contact: Janet Grenslitt, Director of Surveys and Awards 916-932-1363