The Shift Indy initiative has been going for one year now. While this may have “officially” launched in April, and in May, it’s been one full year since we gathered with agencies and departments to discuss requirements. One year since we made a rough plan to move forward towards a digital city hall for everyone.

The first year of this initiative was exciting, exhausting and overall eye-opening to the path before us. For as much as you may think you know a process, no matter how many needs you document, there will always be something to uncover. We have learned so much in this first year; peeling back layers of deeply ingrained manual processes and engaging with our government colleagues and community partners. If anything, it’s built a stronger foundation as we develop these services.

We currently have over 20 services on the new site, with more rolling out next month. While this number may not seem groundbreaking, the core function of each service is what’s important. Most services will be viewed externally as the task at hand, i.e., applying for a property tax deduction or filing a public information request. However, the functions of those services – using a form, viewing a database, making a free-form request – are the foundation of a new website. Master the front-end and back-end to building a form, and you know how to build forms for every agency. Create a standard way to submit a request, and you can apply that to all request-based services across the City and County.

This next year will be spent applying what we’ve mastered, while we continue to build, learn and uncover more. More services, more content, more outreach, more opportunities. We plan to roll-out useful services that will benefit multiple populations and implement new search and navigational features to build on ease of use and mobile friendliness. It will be the year we transition this website from a pilot, to the valuable our businesses, constituents and visitors need.

But we can’t do it alone. Similar to my entry last year, I want to encourage your participation in this project. Whether it’s just signing up for our regular updates, voicing your opinion at a public meeting or helping to spread the word as new services come online – your participation matters. Just as much as it did on day one. We’ve worked hard for you this past year and plan to only work harder, but your feedback and input will be critical to our success. After all, will be your website, your government, your digital city hall.

Ken L. Clark
Chief Information Officer