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St. Louis County Technology Set To Get An Upgrade

technology computer upgrade
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council is on track to approve more than $650,000 for improvements to the county’s information technology system.

The council gave first-round approval to the upgrades on July 2. Final approval is likely to come at its July 9 meeting.

The supplemental appropriations include money to automate most of the county’s internal and external processes and restore the IT help desk for employees, said Rick Nolle, the county’s chief information officer. There is also $50,000 to upgrade the county’s mobile app, and $150,000 for a new county website.

“Our website is over 10 years old, and in internet years, that’s like 70 years. That’s a lifetime,” Nolle said.

The funding requests also include money to make it easier for the county to get back up and running in case of a disaster.  

In recent years Baltimore, Atlanta and several cities in Florida have been hit with cyberattacks that have crippled their systems.

Nolle says the county currently backs its systems up to external devices called tape drives, and stores those drives in a vault. He wants to spend $113,000 to shift the backup system to the cloud instead.

“And so if we get locked, if we get a disaster, we can start rebuilding systems in hours and days, rather than days and weeks it would take to go grab the tapes and physically go and connect the tapes up to drives and get them into computers,” Nolle said.

Nolle said there is enough yearly turnover among the county’s tech staff that increasing automation shouldn’t cause anyone to lose their jobs.

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Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.