Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Increased Connectivity and Responsiveness at the Municipality of Bayham

It was clear to new Chief Administrative Officer Paul Shipway that the Municipality of Bayham’s computer and communications technology system was in need of significant updates. The system operated on old servers, used outdated equipment and was heavily reliant on paper files located at the main municipal administration office in Straffordville.

Municipal staff was spread out over five separate locations including the main municipal administration office, fire and emergency services, water treatment facilities and public works and each of these locations used a stand-alone computer system. These five stand-alone systems had no connectivity to one another and staff requiring documents stored on other systems needed to request them by e-mail or visit the location in person.

“Municipalities are required to be fluid and responsive to the needs of citizens,” said
Shipway. “Operating in silos does not allow us to be as responsive as we would like to be.”
An organizational review identified that a modern and intuitive computer technology system was crucial to the staff’s ability to do its job in an efficient and effective manner while meeting the complex needs of the community.

Improvements to the system will include transitioning to a single terminal server environment where all municipal staff, regardless of location, can search and access the same documents quickly and easily. Additionally a fast and stable internet connection will be brought to the municipal office through the installation of fibre connections. Fibre connections are thinner and lighter than metal cables, are less susceptible to interference and have a much greater bandwidth, meaning that they can carry more data. These updates will ensure that Bayham is able to adapt and compete in an increasingly technological world.

The need for high speed internet to ensure the economic vitality and viability of rural municipalities is one that is recognized not only by the Municipality of Bayham, but by the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus and the Southwest Economic Alliance with their joint SWIFT initiative – to bring ultra high speed fibre optic regional network to everyone in western Ontario regardless of where they live.

For more information on the Municipality of Bayham visit www.bayham.on.ca and to learn about the SWIFT initiative visit www.wowc.ca

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