Cortland County IT Department Proposes Network Health Study

Cortland County’s Information Technology (IT) department presented a $9,200 project on Tuesday that would hire an outside networking firm to check in on the health of the county’s digital infrastructure.

IT department director Jack Hess presented the proposal to the county’s buildings and grounds committee. Hess cited the need for a study that would ultimately yield a list of best practices to follow for the IT department. 

The committee approved the request for the county to enter a contract with Rochester-based Advizex to commission the review. The resolution will then be reviewed by other committees in the legislature, and later at a legislative meeting on Nov. 18.

“What we want to do is make sure we are following best practices for our network infrastructure,” Hess said. “We have never had an outside evaluation of our network. Obviously it works, but is it working and is it configured to best practices so that we have best network resiliency for it? This proposal aims to address that.”

County Administrator Rob Corpora said the funds for the study would come from the American Rescue Plan federal allocation to the county. Through the sizable federal stimulus package approved by elected officials earlier this year, Cortland County received $9.2 million.

Hess said the main takeaway from the study should be a list of recommendations the department could employ to improve network resiliency.

“The outcome of the network health check will be a document containing network device information, configuration, and design, along with areas of risk and recommendations for improvement that will determine a course of action to get the network to its desired future state,” according to a proposal drafted by Advizex consultant Jeff Morton. “A remediation report and an executive slide deck will be provided at the conclusion of the engagement.”

Republican County Legislature Majority Leader George Wagner (LD-15) called the study a “self-preservation” move.

For Democratic Minority Leader Beau Harbin (LD-2), the study is another opportunity to improve the county’s network.

“It’s an excellent thing for us to do and check the status of our network,” he said. “We don’t know what we don’t know, and getting another set of professional eyes always in to take a look at it always helps uncover something. If it prevents even the smallest disruption, it could prove to be worth it in the end.”