Bob Mercier and I will be briefly talking about shared technology at Town Meeting on Wednesday night. The funding for the technology infrastructure has been approved. We asked to come back to Town Meeting to present more specifics about this infrastructure before spending any money.
We will be discussing the need for a common Internet Protocol (IP) backbone from which all of our departments and applications can function. Historically each department has developed its own network. IP will allow us to use the same infrastructure for virtually all applications across all departments – improving functionality and saving money.
We will also explain the need to think about this infrastructure like a utility and not like something extra. To this end, there needs to be a regular, annual investment in maintaining this infrastructure just like our heating, cooling, electricity, and other utilities. An ongoing investment will ensure that we do not end up in the same spot where we are currently – with equipment that is no longer supported and an aging network that requires significant upgrades.
If departments are to have the ability to choose the applications that best suit their needs, then the town and school district need to build a foundation to support these applications.