For the tenth 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.
Winston-Salem tied for second in the center's 2011 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.
This year the survey focused on how cities are using technology to improve operating efficiency and achieve strategic objectives despite fiscal constraints, said Todd Sander, the director of center’s Digital Communities Program.
“Cities that are investing in technology are capturing cost savings that are critical to continuity of operations and their ability to meet higher demand for services,” Sander said. “The highest-ranking cities in the survey showed great strides in consolidating, enabling shared services, government transparency and communications interoperability.”
Among the city’s digital initiatives during the past year:
- A new, cloud-based e-mail system eliminated a dozen servers and the need for staff support of the e-mail system, at no capital cost;
- An increase in the use of smart phones and mobile devices increased the efficiency of city employees out of the office;
- A new paperless system for employee evaluations improved the efficiency of evaluators and the Human Resources staff;
- The city and the county began working to combine their geographic information system functions; and
- New links on the city website allowed citizens to monitor day-to-day city spending and view updated summaries of overall revenue and spending.
The rankings were compiled by the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute. Winston-Salem tied for second with Salt Lake City. High Point was the only other North Carolina city ranked in the survey. It tied for tenth among cities with a population of 75,000 to 124,999.