Information Systems News

Information Systems - Nov. 5, 2015

For the 14th 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 e.Republic Center for Digital Government.

Winston-Salem tied with Salt Lake City for fifth in the center's 2015 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 2015 survey ranked cities for their use of digital technology in the areas of citizen engagement, policy, operations, and technology and data, said Todd Sander, the center’s executive director. “The top-ranked digital city governments in this year’s survey are using cloud services, data analytics and mobile apps—among other technologies—to help citizens interact with government more easily than ever before,” Sander said.

The city’s wide-ranging use of digital technology includes a webpage that allows citizens to track the progress of bond projects; a mobile application for Utilities that uses GIS for locating infrastructure, receiving service requests, and accessing data in the field; a Transportation mobile application that allows employees to use GIS to grade street surfaces while performing other duties in the field; automatic vehicle locator technology to track the location and operation of all city vehicles; a mobile CityLink 311 application; and NextBus, a mobile application that allows bus riders to determine when the bus will arrive at their stop.

Other initiatives include recently combining city and county GIS operations into a single department to serve both agencies, and city participation in the N.C. Next Generation Network, a consortium of cities and universities that resulted in AT&T installing an all-fiber gigabit network in Winston-Salem.

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.

The rankings were compiled by the e.Republic Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute. Four other North Carolina cities were also ranked: Fayetteville tied for fourth and Durham for eighth among cities with a population of 125,000 to 249,999, and Charlotte and Greensboro tied for ninth among cities with a population of 250,000 or more.

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