IT Solutions and Services


We exist to build and maintain a secure, flexible, dependable, technically sound, cost-effective information and communications technology infrastructure for Cook County agencies in order to ensure a high degree of systems availability, performance and continuity of business operations, so that Cook County residents’ and businesses’ needs for public services that depend on technology—-whether onsite, by phone, over the web, or through mobile devices—-are met.

For 2011, this new Department combines the functions of the former Department of Telecommunication Operations (016) and Department of Office Technology (023), and some of the functions of the Department for Management of Information Systems (012), specifically the operation of mainframe, midrange and distributed systems infrastructure. The Department of IT Solutions and Services is responsible for the County’s datacenter, wide-area high-speed network, office technology, and phone and wireless device operations. As information and communication technology converges through the increasing use of mobile applications and voice-over-internet-protocol telephony, the new departmental structure will provide improved flexibility to respond to customer needs.

Goals and objectives

  • Consolidate the Bureau of Technology’s IT resources.
  • Pursue a cost-effective infrastructure modernization and shared services strategy.

 Summary of operations

The Department of IT Solutions and Services manages the bulk of the Bureau of Technology’s technical capability. It consists of four business units:

1.    Network Control Center: Maintains the County’s data communication network which connects over 100 county sites. The NCC operates a network operations center (NOC) which provides optimum network availability by monitoring data communication activity on a 24 hour per day / 365 day per year basis.

2.    Telecommunications: Administers and maintains the County’s voice communication system that is used at all County sites including over 60,000 workstations. The department is responsible for managing all County telephony, including wireless devices, PDAs, pagers and cell phones.

3.    Office Technology: Provides support for enterprise-wide personal computing, including over 20,000 workstations. This business unit also ensures technology compatibility and integration with the County’s overall IT strategy.

4.    Datacenter: The Datacenter provides mainframe, midrange and distributed system operations for all of the departments and agencies of Cook County government. It works in partnership with its customers to determine technology requirements, manage operations efficiently, and coordinate activities among departments. The Datacenter is also responsible for administering large-scale printing initiatives such as property tax bills.

 Recent accomplishments

  • Implemented a County-wide email system.
  • Installed a jail inmate phone system.
  • Designed and implemented a video conferencing network to improve communications and reduce travel costs.
  • Designed and implemented a high availability data network for the Domestic Violence courthouse.
  • Reduced telephone costs by reducing the total number of telephone systems.

 New initiatives

The Department of IT Solutions and Services will migrate over time to an open systems environment incorporating cloud computing services as appropriate. This will be accomplished through the consolidation and virtualization of legacy servers and replacement of legacy mainframe and midrange applications with server-based applications. In addition, there will be a focus on moving all County operations onto the County’s network and standardizing the information and communications environment. These initiatives will help improve cybersecurity, expand services offered over the network, enable greater interoperability among County agencies, and reduce maintenance costs.