Tom Lynch, Chief Information Officer



The Bureau of Technology (BOT) plans, develops and maintains enterprise technology services according to its guiding principles: lifecycle management, cloud-first, shared-first, sustainability, transparency, continuity, Countywide standardization and reuse before buy and buy before build. BOT provides cost-effective and easy-to-use services for residents and County employees.


Deliver and manage Countywide shared technology resources, Direct Countywide technology policy and the establishment of County wide technology standards, including guidance under the County’s Open Government Plan (Ordinance 14-0076).

Review all technology procurements to discourage duplicative spending, encourage efficient returns on investment and ensure compliance with County technology standards and policies (Ordinance 14-1232).

Collaborate with the Information Security Working Group to establish and report on the Information Security Framework, as well as take appropriate actions to protect the County’s network against security threats(Ordinance 14-1481).

Facilitate the integration of an automated Cook County Criminal Justice System and update the Board on progress toward such goal (Resolution 13-2002).

Review all Software and Technology Hardware Asset Inventories and prepare a consolidated report and strategic document annually for submission to the Board. (County Ordinance No. 16-3977).

Utilize the County GIS Fund in accordance with the Counties Code and County ordinance (55 ILCS5/ 3-5018; Chapter 2, Article IV, Division 3, Subdivision II, §2-214 of the County Code).

Provide access to County GIS data in accordance with County ordinance (Chapter 2, Article IV, Division 3, Subdivision II, §2-220).

Key Activities and Services

  • Provide technology infrastructure, applications and services
  • Identify and implement opportunities for cross-agency collaboration that seek efficiency and a greater return on technology investments
  • Modernize and automate select functions of Cook County Government
  • Propagate reliance on digital solutions that improve operational efficiency
  • Play a key role in helping County department sand agencies improve business outcomes

Discussion of 2017 Department and Program Outcomes 

In 2017, Telecom and Network Support concluded the County broadband program roll out, which delivered a 10Gbps backbone network to nine locations on the County Wide Area Network (WAN). They also began work on a 5 year, $25 million project to replace the County’s legacy phone system with a Voice-over-Internet (VoIP) enabled Enterprise Unified Communication Platform. They also expanded Wi-Fi to the County’s downtown campus and courthouses Countywide.

In 2017 the Server Engineer Team and Data Center Operations is implementing an enterprise level data protection solution to handle rich media. They rolled out a new solution to intake rich media files for storage to begin separating file types for efficient storage. They are implementing enterprise level backups to make use of more efficient technologies. BOT's data protection solution also includes enterprise level backups to mitigate a legacy backups system that did not house current technologies to bring economies of scale to our backup infrastructure. They also continued efforts to consolidate legacy infrastructure into newer virtualized platforms, which inherently reduces the carbon footprint of the data center as well as taking advantage of the efficiencies of virtualization. They will continue this effort into 2018.

In 2017 the Systems Management and Service Desk brought down the cost per ticket. 2017 also saw the launch of an online self-service ticketing portal, which is expected to further reduce this cost in 2018.

In 2017, Mainframe Print Operations completed tax-bill printing on-time for the fourth consecutive year, and the goal for next year is make it the fifth.

In 2017, EAS and the Department of Revenue implemented an end-to-end electronic automated workflow based solution for Hotel, Gasoline& Diesel, Parking Lot & Garage Owner, Amusement and Alcoholic Beverage Taxes. In partnership with the Department of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), in FY2017 EAS rolled out the final wave of Cook County Time (CCT), the enterprise time and attendance solution to the Cook County Health and Hospitals System and the Sheriff (over 12,000 employees). In FY2017, EAS also completed implementation of the Hyland OnBase Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform, which is a cornerstone of the County’s Application Modernization Strategic Plan. In FY2017, BOT also implemented the first phase of the Animal Control Case Management Solution and completed implementation of the Integrated Justice Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Mittimus Data Exchange for the Clerk of the Circuit and Sheriff.

In 2017, Digital Engagement supported the launch of three new websites for separate County offices (State's Attorney, Board of Review, and Public Defender), using the County's new Drupal "core," based on new County site launched in FY16, creating cost savings for development. In 2017, Digital Engagement also replicated its Channel 900 broadcast on Chicago Comcast Channel 22 to provide broader, easier access to the County channel.

In 2017, the Program Management Office launched its new project portfolio management system, which leverages the County’s existing Office 365 environment. This is a service shared by multiple County offices.

The Data Analytics program is new in FY2017. It grew out of the Open Data program, which was previously part of the Digital Engagement program area. The Data Analytics will be led by a newly hired Chief Data Officer in the last quarter of FY2017.

In 2017 GIS improved transparency though its public web application program. Displaying data geographically and providing analytical tools via the web increases the public’s understanding of the County, its government and its government’s programs. In FY2017, GIS implemented a self-service mapping program — ArcGIS online. Through this implementation, GIS has grown its public web presence from 16 applications in 2016 to 19 in 2017. We forecast having 25 applications by the end of FY2017 and 30 in 2018.

In addition to developing public applications, GIS has committed to developing applications that are browser-agnostic and mobile-friendly. By the end of 2017, we project that all GIS applications will be mobile-friendly.

In FY17 another major initiative for GIS is launching ArcGIS Online and GeoHub. The GeoHub is a technology infrastructure that provides location as a service (LaaS), including real-time data and mapping tools. GeoHub pools map data layers from various departments commonly managed by GISweb services, allowing users to create living maps and build custom applications. Implementing ArcGIS Online will empower any County employee with a tool for self-service mapping. This initiative allows Cook County to improve its operations with modern mapping technology while stabilizing staffing levels for GIS Analysts.

Budget, Cost Analysis and 2018 Strategic Initiatives and Goals

In FY 2018, BOT will increase the County's reliance on efficient, technology-enabled business processes. The bureau will continue modernizing the County while undergoing significant reductions in expenditures.This will mean trade offs in order to focus on the right priorities, for example between security and usability, or between cost and speed of delivery. County employees will have access to appropriate technology to support their roles, but this will be need-based and economical, not based on personal preference.

County employees will need to take more personal responsibility for IT support with the roll out of a new self-service Service Desk Portal. Training, enrollments and other internal employee processes will increasingly be delivered online.

BOT will continue to push for shared service opportunities to drive cost savings, including sharing applications, hardware and services. Funding for new system developments and enhancements will be limited, and choices will be made based on competing business priorities. Whenever possible, BOT will avoid customizing systems, which may mean adapting business processes to the out-of-the-box features of selected software.

We will avoid technology for technology's sake by examining whether technology will offer an operational improvement significant enough to justify the expense. We will continue to seek improvements by using technology to eliminate paperwork and redundant procedures.

BOT's routine open data publication will continue and expand. BOT will continue working towards ensuring both new and existing systems have adequate reporting capabilities to monitor data in search of operational improvements and potential savings. BOT will continue to measure the cost and efficiency of IT to ensure that it compares well with similar governments across the country and provides maximum return on investment.

The general BOT budget cost drivers are salaries and infrastructure; personnel are needed to support applications, technologies and infrastructure, and adequate infrastructure is needed to support new applications and technologies.

2018 Strategic Initiatives:

  • Application Modernization: Bringing sustainable and transformative technologies to bear on the operations of the County is the key priority for the Bureau of Technology. Legacy transformation aims to retain and extend the value of the legacy investment through migration to new platforms. The alignment of modern solutions with sound returns on investments and sustainability is an important component of modernization. Mainframes are a common element of many IT infrastructures but their potential liabilities and associated costs grow overtime. Through the investment of new applications, Bureau of Technology will transition away from paper-centric business processes and further into the digital realm. The goal is to develop a flexible modernization roadmap with the deployment of Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), Enterprise Content and Case Management Systems and Cloud-Based solutions. All applications will contemplate mobile component. Multichannel access and the new demands of the Internet of Things introduce a myriad of new connectivity options for an enterprises application portfolio. Applications can no longer depend on a single interaction model. Input may come from a variety of devices or types. Modernizing to enterprise content management systems, web content management,commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), and custom development.
  • Service Improvement: BOT is focusing on making customer self-service strategy part of a holistic omnichannel engagement approach for customer service. This can range from application access 24/7 on various platforms to deploying productivity tools such as Skype for Business, etc.
  • Building IT Governance: Continue efforts to formalize the enterprise-wide IT governance structure, building an effective governance and decision-making structure for Information Technology. The overall goal is to ensure that IT investments generate business value and mitigate IT risks. The purpose is to ensure the effective and efficient management and delivery of goods and services aligned to enterprise strategies.