City News

Information Systems - Nov. 11, 2016

For the 15th year in a row Winston-Salem has been ranked as one of the top 10 most technology-advanced cities of its size in America by the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute.

Winston-Salem tied with Scottsdale, Ariz., for sixth in the center's 2016 Digital Cities Survey of cities with a population of 125,000 to 249,999. The annual study ranks the use of information technology by local governments.

The 2016 survey ranked cities for their use of digital technology in the areas of citizen engagement, transparency, infrastructure and security, said Todd Sander, the center’s executive director. “From open data portals to enhanced connectivity and mobile platforms, this year’s top-ranked cities are actively promoting transparency, encouraging citizen participation and making it easier for people to do business with government,” Sander said.

The center cited the city’s use of digital technology to promote transparency “by providing visibility into many aspects of its operations, including expenditures, public meetings, city services and overall performance.” The center also cited the city’s public works work order application that streamlines the work of field crews, makes performance easier to measure, and eliminates the need for paper tickets and maps.

To enhance emergency response, the city deployed WebEOC, a web-based system for Emergency Management and all of the area agencies involved with any activation of the local Emergency Operations Center. WebEOC is a mobile solution used by the North Carolina Emergency Management and many other municipalities and counties in the state by centralizing information about situational awareness, resource management, public notifications and much more.

Also in 2016, the city updated its Cyber Security Incident Response Plan, and purchased cyber security insurance that includes tools to help manage cyber-related vulnerabilities.

Tom Kureczka, the city’s chief information officer, said that he is pleased that the city’s digital efforts in 2016 were recognized by the center and said that more innovation is on the way. “During this year we have completed a large amount of infrastructure upgrades and development on community-focused applications that we will be releasing to the public very soon,” he said. “These include a new permitting system, an electronic plan review solution, and an online information portal for the development community and general public.”

Winston-Salem has ranked in the top 10 of the center’s annual survey every year since 2002, the first year the city participated. This includes a first-place ranking in 2014 and second-place rankings in 2003, 2008 and 2011.

Digital Cities logo 2016

Full Digital Cites survey results

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