Miami Technology Upgrades Will Boost Services To Residents
Written by Yudislaidy Fernandez on December 25, 2008
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
Miami businesses and residents will soon have a host of city services at their fingertips thanks to a $20 million technology upgrade for which city commissioners last week approved a loan.
Building director Hector Lima said the loan would help pay for a land-use system that would allow users to type in an address online and view a property’s full history.
Services to come by late 2009 include submitting permit applications online, viewing plans and paying fees, he said. "It would eliminate a person coming here several times, wasting time off their day."
Also, global positioning systems are to be installed in inspectors’ cars so property owners can track an inspector’s location.
Meanwhile, the city is facing several risks with its out-of-date systems, officials say.
Some software is 18 to 20 years old and over the years the systems have undergone so many modifications that they’ve become too complex to run, said Peter Korinis, chief information officer. The city is also losing senior staffers approaching retirement, so the expertise pool is drying up.
An added concern, he said, is that the city’s hardware systems operator, Unisys Corp., is in a financial struggle after losing 90% of its stock market value.
While Mr. Korinis said he doesn’t expect the firm to fall, he is aware that a buyout or merger is possible.
Regardless, the city plans to move its applications off Unisys and have them run on a different operating system and hardware, he said. "That’s what this project is about, gaining advantages from new hardware and software and reducing risks."
Calls to Unisys’s communications department were unanswered.