Government Technology

Digital Counties Survey

8th Annual Digital Counties Survey - 2010 Results


Survey Shows U.S. Counties Continue To Improve Services Despite Tough Economy


e.Republic's Center for Digital Government (Center) Digital Communities program is once again focusing national attention on the best examples of how information and communication technology (ICT) are used to support and provide public service through its annual Digital Counties Survey.

The Center found that America's counties are continuing to meet the challenge of providing effective and affordable government as evidenced by their accomplishments and future plans for public safety, social and health services, natural resource management, economic development and administrative efficiencies. The survey is an annual study by the Center and the National Association of Counties (NACo) which identifies best practices and recognizes those counties that provide exemplary electronic service to their public.

Digital Communities Director, Todd Sander, said, "The survey data we collected shows that counties of all sizes are rising to meet the current economic challenge. They are finding impressive new ways to use ICT to deliver affordable public service at the very time many people expect and need more from their government. Congratulations to all the winners!"

"Across America counties continue working to balance their local priorities with new responsibilities passed to them from the federal and state governments" said NACo Executive Director Larry E. Naake. "The Digital Counties Survey identifies the very best examples of how counties are aligning technology to support strategic priorities and create crucial operational and administrative efficiencies."

This year's survey was underwritten by Hyland Software, developers of OnBase, Quest Software, Inc., Public Sector, CDW-G, Insight Public Sector, Symantec and Sprint. All companies are proud partners of county governments across America.


Congratulations to the Digital Counties Survey 2010 Winners:


500,000 or more population:
1st Montgomery County, Md.

2nd Prince George's County, Md.

3rd Palm Beach County, Fla.

3rd San Diego County, Calif.

4th County of Orange, Calif.

5th Oakland County, Mich.

6th Wake County, N.C.

7th Fairfax County, Va.

7th Sacramento County, Calif.

7th Westchester County, N.Y.

8th Hennepin County, Minn.

9th Miami-Dade County, Fla.

10th Anne Arundel County, Md.

10th King County, Wash.


250,000-499,999 population:
1st Chesterfield County, Va.

2nd Loudoun County, Va.

3rd Clackamas County, Ore.

4th Ottawa County, Mich.

5th Dutchess County, N.Y.

5th Placer County, Calif.

6th Guilford County, N.C.

7th Dakota County, Minn.

7th Douglas County, Colo.

8th Forsyth County, N.C.

9th Washoe County, Nev.

9th Washtenaw County, Mich.

10th Hamilton County, Ind.


150,000-249,999 population:
1st County of Hanover, Va.

2nd Cumberland County, Pa.

3rd Doña Ana County, N.M.

4th Boone County, Mo.

4th Gaston County, N.C.

5th Roanoke County, Va.

6th Yuma County, Ariz.

7th Sussex County, N.J.

8th Mohave County, Ariz.

9th Kenton County, Ky.

10th Onslow County, N.C.


Less than 150,000 population:

1st: Charles County, Md.

2nd: Nevada County, Calif.

3rd: Franklin County, Va.

4th: Skagit County, Wash.

5th: County of Albemarle, Va.

6th: Martin County, Fla.

7th: Columbia County, Ga.

8th: Olmsted County, Minn.

9th: Napa County, Calif.

10th: Bay County, Mich.


Summary of Selected Survey Findings and Trends:


Measures to Deal with Economic Downturn

  • 92% of counties are pursuing federal stimulus, grants and fees to lessen dependence on the county general fund - an increase of six percent from 2009
  • 78% are consolidating data centers, servers, applications and staff - a 10 percent increase over last year
  • 72% plan reductions in staffing and operating hours - three percent more than last year
  • 69% are pursuing joint service delivery - a 12 percent increase over 2009
  • 60% are planning agency consolidation, mergers and/or elimination - more than 10 percent increase in the past year
  • The largest increase since 2009:
  • 52% may have cuts in public service delivery - a 16 percent increase in cuts
  • 49% plan increased reliance on third parties (private, commercial and not-for-profit) - up 15 percent



Priorities, This Year and Next Year

Governance & Management: The two highest priorities this year are the same for next year:

  • Aligning the IT strategic plan with the county's strategic business plan, and
  • Disaster recovery/ business continuity

The following are a higher priority in 2011 than 2010:

  • Cross Agency/ Cross Jurisdictional Collaboration,
  • Cyber Security/ Information Security (Policy),
  • ICT Workforce: Skills Development and Retention, and
  • Identity and Access Management

Computing Management: The top three priorities remain the same next year:

  • Virtualization,
  • GeoSpatial (GIS) Computing and Analysis, and
  • Consolidation

Network Management:

  • In 2011 Unified Communications (voice, data, video, presence) will be the priority over broadband



Counties reported the following levels of sustained collaboration in service delivery:

  • 74% - Public Safety, Emergency Management & Corrections
  • 69% - Finance, Administration and Tax
  • 63% - Health, Social and Human Services
  • 51% - Licensing and Permitting
  • 51% - Energy, Environment, Parks and Recreation, Natural Resources
  • 50% - Employment, Labor and Workforce


Web Technologies and Services Provided:

  • Decrease from two-thirds to one-third in Webcasts -streamed audio and video, live and archived, including civic cable channel
  • Other social media increased:
  • 42% - increase of seven percent - are making use of Social Networks, such as Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn
  • 37% - also a seven percent increase since last year - are using Micro Blogs, such as Twitter, Yammer, or Plurk
  • 46% - a sixteen percent increase- are using Video Sharing sites such as YouTube, and Hulu
  • 81% of counties surveyed now offer transactional processing online (such as pay tickets, taxes, register for alerts)



Featured Papers

Digital Counties Survey 2010 Sponsors


Hyland Software developers of OnBase, enterprise content management software that combines integrated document management, business process management and records management in a single application. Government agencies utilize OnBase to streamline operations, reduce costs and share information and processes with employees, partners, constituents, and other government agencies.

Quest SoftwareQuest Software’s Public Sector Group delivers innovative products to ensure counties get more performance and more productivity from their applications, databases, Windows infrastructure and virtual environments. Quest solutions help counties simplify their IT environments, improve efficiency and reduce costs by consolidating systems, automating tasks and extending existing infrastructure.

Agencies today rely on robust IT infrastructures that make government work for the people. With so much at stake, it's no wonder that IT decision-makers are making it their policy to choose CDW-G (CDW Government, Inc.). A wholly owned subsidiary of CDW Corporation, we offer the latest technology products coupled with unwavering support and customer service to help you serve the people. For more information please visit

As a trusted technology advisor, Insight develops and deploys innovative IT solutions for local governments nationwide.  Insight is here to help you save money while delivering enhanced service levels to your populace.  Please contact us at 800-4INSIGHT to learn how we can help you through our national U.S. Communities contract for IT Services & Solutions.

Sprint is dedicated to improving interoperable communications for the public sector and strengthening every community’s emergency response. With the most dependable 3G mobile broadband network, the first 4G service from a national carrier, and the fastest national push-to-talk network, Sprint serves Police, Fire, EMS, Government and Business organizations. Visit

McAfee,Inc., the leader in intrusion prevention and security risk management, proactively secures systems and networks, worldwide. Our unmatched security expertise, focus on manageability, and proven ability to successfully prevent attacks are the reasons why McAfee is the security solution of choice for homes, businesses, service providers, and the public sector.