York County’s IT Director Tim Wyatt on technology in local government, cybersecurity outreach, and why community is at the heart of his work

People, community, shared citizenship, friends and family… Not necessarily the first things that come to mind when taking a deep dive into IT and technology. But that’s what makes the work of Tim Wyatt and his colleagues so compelling and, it seems, rewarding. As Director of Information Technology at York County Government, VA, Wyatt’s role is vast. He and his team are responsible for delivering a broad scope of technologies and initiatives that enable local government to deliver effective services across the County. But for Wyatt, one key theme underpins all his work: York County’s people, all 70,000 of them.

People first

“We’re not in the IT business,” he says, expanding on the theme, “we’re in the people business. Everything we do is community focused. The common misconception when people join our team is ‘it’s technology, I’ll be working with computers everyday’. Of course, that’s true to a degree, but working in local government is really about delivering for everyone that lives in the County and, for our department, always optimising how we’re using technology to do the most good for the most citizens.


Technology evolution

Delivering on that ambition means a significant scope of work for Wyatt and his team – the role of technology in enabling effective and efficient local government services is crucial, he says. That scope spans nearly all conceivable areas from IT infrastructure, PC support and geographic information systems to securing water and environmental services, supporting tourism, health and safety, and effective cybersecurity programmes.

“I compare our role to being more like a cloud vendor; we support nearly every area you can think of for the local government and its citizens,” Wyatt explains. “As Director of IT I set the vision and strategy and ensure the team implements innovative and secure technology solutions. This includes visible agencies like public safety and community services, more focused departments like social services, protecting our environment, streamlining business, ensuring effective partnering with private sectors, and delivering innovative learning programmes in our libraries and senior centres. I lead regional, state, and citizen outreach programmes through which we share experiences and support, not just for our organisation, but for citizens, our business community, and our tourists.”

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