From day one, we knew the Shift Indy initiative was more than just a website. We also knew educating those around us of “why” might be difficult. We needed to tell our story. We wanted to connect with our internal peers, with citizens who could use the new platform, and with our government partners looking for shared knowledge and experience. Through our blog and newsletter, we’ve been able to share our journey, and regularly remind ourselves how far we’ve come.
Throughout this project, the Information Services Agency sat down with city departments and county agencies to drive new processes, to challenge the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset and to share excitement with peers who were eager and supportive of change. We partnered to build not only an attractive digital face for our city/county, but also a custom-tailored content management system, several new back-end applications and multiple API integrations. We managed the review, revision and publishing of content for every agency and department, reducing stale and unnecessary information by 60%. We have driven progress far beyond IT policy, and have made a lasting impact on our organization.
That isn’t to say we accomplished everything we set out to do in our two-year time frame. This initiative has had many moving parts, creating new obstacles and learning experiences every week. But the best part about what we’ve created – this new, digital city hall – is the ability to evolve. There are incredible opportunities to grow and improve from what we’ve built. Citizen profiles, text updates, meaningful interactive mapping; these are just some of the items we’re still working towards. While the Shift Indy initiative is coming to an end, the work we’ve done to improve the citizen experience will only continue.
Over the last 18 months, the site has proven its worth with tens of thousands of digital transactions and several happy citizens who conducted their government business from home. Over these next few weeks, we’ll be rolling out final touches and publishing remaining content. In mid-January, we will fully transition the Indy.gov URL to the new site, sunsetting our old platform. This will be the final milestone of our Shift Indy initiative.
I want to thank everyone who has participated in this endeavor; our steering committee, our city/county peer agencies and departments, our vendor partners: The CityBase, Crowe, Caldwell VanRiper (CVR), Guilford Group, the dedicated staff of the Information Services Agency, and the core Shift Indy team, who moved this initiative forward every day. This initiative has been an unmatched experience for everyone involved. We could not have accomplished what we have without the support of those around us and the commitment of a devoted team.
Finally, I want to thank every citizen who has taken the time to be a part of this project. Whether you attended a public meeting, emailed us feedback, shared a Facebook post or simply used a new digital service; you played a role in building a digital city hall that works for everyone. I hope you continue to engage and send us feedback as we roll-out new features. Your participation has always been crucial to our success and will remain key to our future developments. After all, the new indy.gov is your website, your government, your digital city hall.
Chief Information Officer