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Digital Counties Survey 2019 – Winners Announced

The 2019 Digital Counties Survey, now in its 17th year, honors leading counties for programs that encourage government innovation and collaboration.

July 11, 2019 – The Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) announced the winners of the 17th annual Digital Counties Survey. The survey, conducted by CDG in partnership with NACo, identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage collaboration and shared services, enhance cybersecurity and contribute to disaster response recovery efforts. 

“Innovative counties across the U.S. are leveraging technology and data to complete unique projects that  better serve citizens, save taxpayer money and  portect citizen data,” said Teri Takai, executive director, CDG. “The Center for Digital Government congratulates this year’s winners for their work to make government work for the citizens and businesses they serve.”

“We applaud this year's Digital Counties Survey winners for maximizing the value of technology in serving our residents,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “Technology plays an important role in achieving healthy, safe and vibrant counties. The Digital Counties Survey demonstrates how we embrace cutting-edge approaches to strengthening our communities.” 

This year’s first-place winners include: 

  • Montgomery County, Md. (1,000,000 or more population category): The county is using analytic tools to improve citizen services. For example, predictive modeling is being used to determine if new cellular networks are truly necessary.  The County Executive and County Council are asking carriers to demonstrate that deployments are needed to improve capacity - to prevent speculative builds that bring unnecessary intrusions into residential neighborhoods.
  • Snohomish County, Wash. (500,000 – 999,999 population category): The county adopted a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that includes creative solutions, extensive collaboration, excellent transparency and privacy measures and strong ROI. In addition, the county’s annual Information Services Plan and Report, a supplement to the IT Technology Plan, serves as a model for other counties to consider..
  • Dutchess County, N.Y. (250,000-499,999 population category): IT alignment with county goals is exceptional, including a “healthier and kinder” philosophy and strategy. County collaboration/shared services efforts are strong and include positive ROI. For example, the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department has an agreement to use the County's Public Safety platform, which saved the town more than $500,000 in the first year.
  • Cabarras County, N.C. (150,000-249,999 population category): The county’s data governance measures for cybersecurity include maintaining staff training and awareness, balancing security while providing usability and creating government transparency while protecting data security. Security measures include phishing/penetration testing.
  • Nevada County, Calif. (up to 150,000 population category): Nevada County’s submission mimics one equal to a larger county with more resources. A crowd-sourcing site for community input is an excellent example of ways to leverage technology to make the county more responsive to residents. In addition, the county developed a strong ICT strategic plan for 2017-2020.
The Center for Digital Government thanks the underwriters for this year’s survey: Laserfiche, Veeam Software, and ZScaler. 

Congratulations to the 2019 Digital Counties Survey Winners!

1,000,000 or More Population Category
1st Montgomery County, MD
2nd County of Los Angeles, CA
3rd Hennepin County, MN
3rd King County, WA
4th County of Alameda, CA
5th Wake County, NC
6th County of Sacramento, CA
7th Oakland County, MI
7th Palm Beach County, FL
8th Tarrant County, TX
9th Maricopa County, AZ
9th Riverside County, CA
10th Orange County, FL

500,000 – 999,999 Population Category
1st Snohomish County, WA
2nd County of Sonoma, CA
2nd County of Ventura, CA
3rd Gwinnett County, GA
4th Prince George's County, MD
5th County of San Mateo, CA
6th DeKalb County, GA
7th Douglas County, NE
8th San Joaquin County, CA
9th County of Chester, PA
10th Polk County, FL

250,000 – 499,999 Population Category
1st Dutchess County, NY
2nd Chesterfield County, VA
2nd Durham County, NC
3rd Placer County, CA
4th Marin County, CA
5th Leon County, FL
6th Loudoun County, VA
7th Hamilton County, IN
8th Santa Cruz County, CA
9th Cumberland County, NC
10th Buncombe County, NC
10th Ottawa County, MI

150,000 – 249,999 Population Category
1st Cabarrus County, NC
2nd Arlington County, VA
3rd Onslow County, NC
4th Charles County, MD
5th Boone County, MO
5th Pitt County, NC
6th County of Davidson, NC
7th Charlette County, FL
8th Delaware County, OH
9th Washington County, AR
10th Union County, NC

Up to 150,000 Population Category
1st Nevada County, CA
2nd Montgomery County, VA
3rd Allegan County, MI
3rd County of York, VA
4th Albemarle County, VA
5th James City County, VA
6th Gloucester County, VA
7th Skagit County, WA
8th Rowan County, NC
9th Dodge County, WI
10th Franklin County, VA


2019 Top Ten technologies and initiatives which are likely to have an increased focus in the next year:

1. Cybersecurity (#1 for six years consecutively)
2. Citizen Experience/ E-Service Provision (moved up from #3)
3. Hire and Retain Competent IT Personnel (moved up from #4)
4. Business Intelligence/ Analytics (moved up from #8)
5. Disaster Recovery/ Continuity of Operations (was #2)
6. Data Governance
7. Infrastructure Modernization
8. Cloud Computing
9. Budget & Cost Control AND Increased Agency/Department/IT Collaboration
10. Shared or Collaborative Services

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.

Contact: Janet Grenslitt, Director of Surveys and Awards