Thin is In: How Cook County Is Improving Services with Thin Clients

CIO Bridget Dancy calls them the “best kept secret in county government.” No, it’s not the caped crusader Batman or The Avengers – they’re something far more cost-effective and efficient…. Thin clients!

This week we’re telling the story of how local governments like Cook County in Illinois have traded in thousands of slow, aging computer terminals for new HP Thin Clients. Today, the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County has 80 percent of their staff in 17 different offices using thin clients, and an additional 400 thin clients installed as public service terminals.

So – what’s the big advantage of thin clients in government? By hosting most of their information in a remote server, thin clients create a reliable way for employees and the public to access county government applications and files. And with nearly 2 million new cases each year, and 400 judges conducting more than 6.5 million cases annually, they needed a secure and efficient means to access all of their records.

When Dorothy Brown first ran for clerkship several years ago, the Clerk’s Office was living with outdated technology that ran slowly and prevented offices from upgrading to newer software applications, which kept them from automating services to help with customer service. Thin clients gave them the ability to access any server-based applications on all of their machines and remotely fix any issues on the clients using HP Device Manager.

The courts are using thin clients to manage their new integrated cashiering and security system. It automates processing of traffic court fines to eliminate errors and speed customer service by eliminating long lines. Thin clients are also enabling employee and citizen access to an electronic filing application, which eliminates even more personal visits to Circuit Court Clerk’s Offices.

Could your office benefit from a switch to thin clients? Are you already using them? Let us know your thoughts below…

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