Cook County Named Top Five Digital County in America for 2024

The Center for Digital Government (CDG) has once again recognized Cook County as one of America's leading digital counties, ranking it fifth among counties with populations of one million or more in the 2024 Digital Counties Survey. This marks the fifth consecutive year Cook County has placed in the top ten, showcasing its continued commitment to leveraging technology to improve government services and resident experiences. 

The prestigious award will be presented on July 12 at the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual conference in Tampa, Florida. It acknowledges counties that exemplify the best technology practices, including initiatives that streamline service delivery, encourage collaboration, enhance cybersecurity, and promote digital equity. 

“At Cook County, we remain dedicated to harnessing the power of technology to improve the lives of all our residents and setting new standards for digital governance," said Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle. “The work this award celebrates directly aligns with the goals outlined in our Policy Roadmap, particularly our focus on building Connected Communities and Open Communities through innovative infrastructure and responsive government services.” 

"Being recognized as a top five digital county is a testament to the dedication and innovation of our entire technology team," said Cook County Chief Information Officer Tom Lynch. "This achievement reflects our ongoing commitment to harnessing technology to better serve our residents and make Cook County government more efficient, transparent and accessible." 

One of the county's standout accomplishments this year was the launch of the Cook County Cloud program. Completed in February 2024, this private cloud environment consolidates the county's data center infrastructure from 13 locations to just 5, reducing physical rack space by 85% while supporting 39% more virtual machines. This initiative not only yields significant cost savings but also aligns with the county's sustainability goals by substantially reducing its carbon footprint.  

In October 2023, Cook County released its first-ever Digital Equity Action Plan, accompanied by an interactive Digital Equity Map. This comprehensive framework aims to ensure all county residents have equitable access to digital infrastructure, devices and tools necessary to thrive in today's digital economy and society. The map provides valuable insights into the relationship between socioeconomic conditions and access to broadband technology across different areas of the county. 

The county's commitment to improving constituent services is further exemplified by the launch of the Unincorporated Zoning Requirements Application in December 2023. This user-friendly app empowers residents of unincorporated areas to easily access zoning information for their properties, eliminating the need for time-consuming phone inquiries and enabling 24/7 access to crucial information. 

Transparency in government spending has been enhanced through the new Cook County American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) website, launched in August 2023. This platform provides comprehensive information on how Cook County is allocating its $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funds, featuring interactive dashboards and detailed program spotlights. 

The county's cybersecurity efforts have also seen significant advancements. The Information Security Office has aligned its Risk Management Framework with the latest NIST SP 800-53 Rev. 5 standards and secured approval for a Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) vendor contract, marking the introduction of the county's first Security Control Assessment capability. 

Cook County's workforce development initiatives in the technology sector have yielded impressive results, with 38 new employees hired and 14 others promoted within the Bureau of Technology in 2023. The bureau also revised over 50 job descriptions and adjusted salaries to be more competitive in both public and private sector markets. 

As Cook County continues to push the boundaries of digital innovation in local government, this recognition from the Center for Digital Government serves as both a validation of past efforts and an inspiration for future initiatives. The county remains committed to leveraging technology to enhance the lives of its residents and set new standards for digital governance. 

For more information about Cook County's technology and data programs, visit the Bureau of Technology website at