Upgrades approved for county government IT infrastructure

Bartholomew County is preparing a major upgrade to the local government’s information infrastructure.

Bartholomew County Commissioners approved a contract Monday with Fortinet, to upgrade the networking hardware countywide. Scott Mayes, IT director for the county government, said that the network infrastructure is aging and there has been a two and a half year project to plan upgrades. He said the last major upgrade was 13 years ago and that equipment doesn’t provide for many of the modern IT needs or speed including cyber security and remote work.

Mayes said that the recent lightning strike at the county’s dispatch center showed the importance of the upgrade, as the county had to cobble together replacements for the damaged and dated equipment.

The contract for about $793 thousand will include replacing all of the dated equipment. In comparison, the county paid about $900 thousand when the existing equipment was installed 13 years ago. Most of the money for the new equipment, about $515 thousand will come from the IT department budget with $277 thousand coming from the county’s telecommunications fund. Mayes said the only other major competitor to Fortinet was Cisco Systems and their bid was about $1.1 million.

The lifespan of the new equipment is expected to be 10 years.