Meet Jon Walton, new Director of Information Services

I am very excited to be joining San Mateo County as the director of the Information Services Department (ISD).   My career in technology started when I was young since my father worked for the defense industry and our garage was filled with early computer technology from the military.  

Jon Walton

Jon Walton

After graduating from Humboldt State my first official computer job was creating a mapping system for Deschutes County, Ore. From there I went on to work for various private consulting firms such as Unisys and for the City of San Jose for 6 years as the Deputy CIO.   For the last five years I have worked for the City & County of San Francisco as Chief Operations Officer for the Department of Technology and as the Acting Chief Information Officer.

San Francisco was a great experience as we were able to focus on the delivery of core IT services and also explore new ways to do business such as leasing city fiber to generate revenue, created new government applications for the iPhone and Android platforms, migrated several key systems to Cloud solutions, and explored ways to directly engage with the public through Open Data and Community Coding events.

This is a very exciting time for municipal government due to the growth in the ways technology can assist in delivering better and more effective services.   There are several areas ISD would like to make sure that we are connecting with each of you on: Operational Excellence, Outstanding Customer Service, and Innovation and Partnerships.

Operational Excellence is the core of all great IT organizations.  ISD already has several efforts underway to ensure that the systems we manage for you and the services we provide are available, effective and efficient.   Like any organization in these tough budget times we will probably have to make hard decisions about what services we can support.

ISD has already begun the process of ensuring that our staff has the training and mentorship needed to provide the highest level of operational excellence.  Our Customer Service commitment is that we will continue to offer, and report, on the level of service that we have committed to each of you.  We are committed to a Customer Service philosophy that is an open two-way dialog that is responsive and proactive.  We want you to not only see the results of this commitment but also truly feel that ISD is committed to provide the highest level of customer service.

Finally, ISD wants to be your partner in moving forward with interesting and innovative projects. 

Examples of this could be ideas like modernizing old systems with new technology, getting the community more involved with helping us solve problems through Open Data and Community Coding, empowering and connecting the users through self-service and mobility, exploring how Cloud technology can benefit the County, and leveraging social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Additionally, we want to continue to explore the potential for shared services with other local  agencies and expand our conversations about public/private partnerships given that we are home to some many great technology companies. We want to actively engage with departments and the public on what we can do to transform how we use technology to provide services more effectively but also to create a sense of a connected community to our government.

I’ve been working with Reyna Farrales and the ISD leadership team to better understand the current status of current ISD projects and priorities.  Over the next couple of months I plan to meet with departments about their goals and find ways that ISD can help in achieving those goals.  I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season and I’m looking forward to joining you.

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