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Bernalillo County, New Mexico, “Our New World” Government in the Cloud

The most populous county in New Mexico, Bernalillo is home to the City of Albuquerque and serves as a major
economic and cultural crossroads in the American Southwest. The County consists of an area of nearly 1,200
square miles.

The planning and development services department for Bernalillo County has a lot on their hands with 57,000 parcels to manage and track. To combat the growing demand for services such as building and trade permits, business licenses and more, the county has worked to modernize processes and procedures by pushing services to the cloud.

Benefits of the Cloud – Leaving On-Prem Baggage Behind

The County’s IT team had traditionally maintained and supported the
department’s Accela solutions on-premises. However, with other priorities on their plates, the County had fallen several product versions behind, making it difficult to keep things running smoothly. In addition, being on an older version of the software, security began to become a concern for many on the team.

That’s when Bernalillo County decided to modernize and transition to the cloud. A SaaS offering would bring many benefits to the County. The move would push much of the responsibility for maintaining and supporting their solutions to the technology vendor. Bernalillo County would also gain access to features and functionality offered by the latest software version. All these benefits would be realized in a secure Microsoft Azure environment, giving the agency peace of mind.

In a recent interview with the GIS/Technology Manager for the County’s Planning and Development Services Department, Martin Lewis stated, “We knew we had to move away from being on premises because of our situation being several versions behind with IT support. Upgrading versions on-premises is not a simple process. And our ability to have access to the latest and greatest was a big driver. We knew by remaining on-premises it was going to continue to be a big
deal, requiring a lot of support from our IT department. We knew it would be worth the cost to shift that responsibility to our technology vendor.”
When asked how their migration process went, Lewis went on to say, “The project kick-off was around the beginning of February and it went really smoothly. We are 100% satisfied with how it has gone.” The County’s migration couldn’t have come sooner. Shortly after going live on the cloud the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But Bernalillo was prepared.

“My staff has been operating from home over the past year. Since moving to the cloud, our staff doesn’t have to worry about the maintenance, support and upgrades that come with an on-premises installation. They can take care of configurations and work on keeping customers happy.”

Lewis concluded, “SaaS is our new world. It’s all in the cloud now. If you want to continue to operate in your 20th century model it’s going to take a lot of work.”

By moving to the cloud and establishing efficiencies in planning and development services, Bernalillo County has truly embraced today’s new realities. They have taken necessary steps to modernize enabling them to focus on their number one priority—their customers.

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