Information Systems - Nov. 2, 2018
For the 17th 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 ranked third in the center's 2018 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 2018 survey ranked cities for their use of digital technology to tackle social challenges, enhance cybersecurity and improve transparency, said Teri Takai, the center’s executive director. "This year’s Digital Cities Survey winners are leading the nation when it comes to leveraging data to improve a wide range of city services and initiatives," Takai said.
The center cited the city's use of data to better allocate city resources and combat such issues as blight in neighborhoods; its development of an "open data" portal that will be a prominent feature on the new city website now in development; its implementation of an online sign-up tool for citizens who want to speak at City Council meetings, and which allows the city to better identify trends; and the city’s active cyber-security program that includes training, preventative measures and disaster-recovery initiatives.
Tom Kureczka, the city's chief information officer, said that the ranking is national affirmation of the city's collaborative approach to using technology. "Multiple city departments, working together, have enabled us to leverage technology to efficiently provide more and improved services to our community," Kureczka said.
"Our top 10 ranking for 17 consecutive years validates the city's continuous effort to strike a healthy balance between maintaining our current technology and looking to tomorrow by aligning our technology investments with the City Council's strategic focus areas," he added.
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, 2011 and 2017.