Prime tech manager dismisses work to update city’s glitchy computer systems

Pamela G. Knowles

But it has been practically two decades given that the town took an stock of its application and laptop or computer techniques, a fact Metropolis Council members are citing as a reason to study its tech and request updates.

A technological glitch, for occasion, crashed the city’s municipal wireless network—which manages traffic lights and police license-plate readers—for 11 times in April 2019. A personal audit commissioned by Town Corridor concluded the incident could have been avoided by far more well timed upgrades to the technique.

A bill from Councilman Paul Vallone would need officials research the feasibility of updating its application and facts programs to the cloud, which he reported could increase the stability and dependability of those people units and aid firms far better track the standing of on line expert services, such as 311 complaints and permit applications.

“We are not much off from metropolis employees going for walks data files from office to office,” Vallone reported. “It is time for us to get to the upcoming degree.”

Employing cloud computing, municipal data is saved on the internet by computer software providers rather than in nearby information centers that the city have to shell out to lease and preserve. Amazon Website Solutions, the world’s largest cloud supplier, has been lobbying City Council customers to undertake cloud servers for a number of many years, investing additional than $80,000 this calendar year by itself, town information display.

Noel Hidalgo, leader of the technology-centered nonprofit BetaNYC, said a extensive report of town computing devices could show which facets have not been current and continue being complicated for New Yorkers to navigate.

“This invoice attempts to get at anything that we have not had in shut to 20 several years,” Hidalgo claimed. “Obtaining an understanding of the information devices our city governing administration has is crucial to bringing them into the 21st century.”

Tisch declined to present an estimate of what percentage of town data is presently stored on cloud servers. She acknowledged the city even now maintains several info storage centers, but she did not have the precise square footage or the once-a-year fees to lease people amenities.

There are examples of agencies lagging. The Office of Design and Development, for instance, uses a 20-calendar year-old data middle to keep contracts and styles truly worth billions, without a timeline for its substitution, in accordance to December 2019 audit from Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Relocating into the cloud would allow for individuals methods to be more effortlessly upgraded, Vallone stated. He included that the improve could make it less difficult for modest-company owners and other New Yorkers to monitor the standing of making and zoning programs, grant awards and 311 complaints.

Even though Vallone acknowledged the metropolis has modernized many of its methods, he pressed for a thorough prepare that would define where software package requirements to be updating.

“Most of us are coming down to the stop of our phrase, and the close of (de Blasio’s) administration,” he reported for the duration of the hearing. “I do not want to hand off to the following persons coming in a process devoid of a plan.”  

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