After “a near catastrophic failure” of the city’s technological network and a nearly full software capacity that is bogging down and making errors in services, Vermilion finance director Amy Hendricks said it’s time for the city to look into additional software purchases.
During an Aug. 5 City Council meeting, Hendricks said the Finance Department is looking into purchasing several storage devices and software services for a needed revamp in technology.
“We’ve had some situations where our storage capacity for our archive documents and our current ones are so full that it’s causing processing problems with various software packages that are used in the district,” she said.
One of the issues that has arisen due to current city technology is incorrect notices were sent out from the Utilities Department that their payments had not been posted when they had already been sent in.
The issue has occurred a few times in the past two to three months and many any of those who received the notices used an automated payment program, Hendricks said.
“There was not adequate storage capacity to download an process that file that’s supposed to be done automatically,” she said, adding that the city does not receive notification when this occurs.
Software reaching capacity also has also progressing issues with financial transactions, where the computer screen would freeze mid-transaction, Hendricks said.
The city currently is looking into two external storage devices, listed between $20,000 to $30,000 each.
In the beginning of the year, Hendricks also purchased off-site backup through Software Solutions, a software consulting company, to help free up space on the city’s current software.
“That’s very important to be able to make sure not only that we don’t lose any of our records that must be maintained — email archives and things like that, but also to be able to have seamless processing for various features in the software that we use,” Hendricks said.
The city almost permanently lost files through a network failure, but the files were restored in a couple of days, she said.
Fixing the failing network components would cost additional funds alongside the storage devices, Hendricks said.
“It just was a really good warning of how close we are to needing some additional refreshing of our infrastructure,” she said.