Montgomery County (Pa.) CIO Anthony Olivieri says the unsung heroes of the pandemic have been the IT professionals. 

Oct 08 2020

Q&A: How Montgomery County (Pa.) Supported Residents in a Time of Crisis

County CIO Anthony Olivieri details the technologies that power his government despite social distancing.

Like local governments across the United States, Montgomery County, Pa., rapidly ramped up tech support earlier this year for employees who were forced to work from home due to the pandemic. Simultaneously, the county pivoted to increase digital services for citizens who depend on access to government assistance.

Through this transition, Montgomery County CIO Anthony Olivieri capitalized on his agency’s early investment in virtual infrastructure and cloud computing. Olivieri chatted with StateTech Managing  about how his county supported employees working from home while also supporting citizen services — in part with help from CDW.

STATETECH: What technology challenges did the county face at the onset of the pandemic?

OLIVIERI: We faced a host of questions: What level of our business continuance plan are we going to enact? What do we need to get ready for? If people need to work from home, are we going to be able to facilitate requests from officials and citizens? We took a very hard look at our VMware virtual desktop environment, which we knew was ready for prime time. We looked at our VPN solution as a backup to that, and we made sure we had very good inventory control in place for equipment that was going to leave the county.

We made sure we had sufficient training material, so we could put it in the hands of our users, whether as a physical copy or through our SharePoint portal. In Montgomery County, we were a virus epicenter very early on, so things...

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATTHEW FURMAN