By Brian Lewton, City of Coronado.

In early October, California’s municipal information technology leaders will gather in Monterey, CA to learn how to better serve their communities, to network, to attend presentations on emerging municipal technologies, and to sharpen their skills at the yearly CIO boot camp. The Municipal Information Systems Association of California (MISAC) will host their annual conference October 4-7, 2015 for members, vendors and other local government professionals interested in IT. MISAC’s conference committee has put together a robust program this year, including topics on:

  • Security: planning for and weathering the threats to local governments,
  • Cloud-based technologies,
  • State regulation impacting city information technology, and
  • Advances in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

“Once a year, municipal IT professionals gather for the most educational week of our year. The information we exchange and ideas we share help our cities and special districts stay abreast of emerging technologies. We return to the office with a stronger vision for improving technology services in our organizations and planning for the future,” touted Conference Chair Bryon Horn, CSD Manager, City of Fresno.

MISAC is the largest organization in the State of California focused on information technology in local government. Over 600 members representing 280 agencies collaborate and innovate together through MISAC.

Gone are the days when IT was an inward facing department, simply looking after the technology hardware of a city. Today’s IT professionals are an integral and strategic part of a city’s management team. They look after the nuts and bolts of the information technology backbone that agencies rely on to conduct business but must also protect city networks and software from the growing threat of hacking and data loss. With a central technology focus, IT manages projects that span multiple departments and provides tools that increase productivity, all while adjusting to leaner budgets and fewer staff. The role of IT has significantly changed, and the demands for constant innovation and an understanding of the bigger picture are critical to the role of municipal technology management.

While this conference is vitally important for municipal IT professionals, it also provides a unique opportunity for local government executive leadership to learn more about technology and how it can transform their city. From bring-your-own device issues, to deployment of apps, to the use of body cameras, to warding off cyber attacks, each city faces its own unique IT questions and challenges. Oftentimes, executive management and elected officials are not well-versed in the technologies that have a material impact on the future of their organizations. Attendance at the MISAC conference offers key advantages for city leaders who may not be directly responsible for technology but are responsible for being a change agent for their organizations. The MISAC Annual Conference offers a great three-day ramp-up on technology trends and tools for the non-IT professional.

The entire conference schedule can be accessed here.

The MISAC Annual Conference is being held at the Monterey Hyatt October 4-7, 2015. For more information or to register click here.

MISAC membership is not required to attend the conference but being a member will provide a discount for the conference registration and provide access to other benefits.

Whether your agency is a member of MISAC or not, attending the Annual Conference will jump-start your understanding of technology.

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Brian is a native San Diegan who spent eight years in the Washington, D.C. area with his wife before moving back in 1999.  He has a bachelor’s degree in computer science, attended SDSU to obtain his MBA degree, and holds multiple industry certifications.  Since 2002, he has managed the enterprise and public safety IT needs of the City of Coronado.  He has been heavily involved with MISAC for seven years and is completing a two-year stint as the State Board president this December.