Innovation and Technology

Assets, Information and Services' Bureau of Innovation and Technology is the City’s central IT agency. AIS-IT is responsible for the City’s core technology infrastructure, enterprise applications, data management & analytics, digital services and information security. Our work is guided by the vision of Chicago as a responsive city where technology fuels inclusion, engagement, innovation, and opportunity for everyone. 

Learn more about the City's IT direction at ChiTech

We treat data as a strategic asset for the City of Chicago. We store, analyze, research, visualize, publish, and liberate data for city users and the public. Our mission is to use data to improve the quality of life of residents in the city and improve the efficiency of city operations.

The data science team is divided into four units:

  • Advanced analytics
  • Open data
  • Business intelligence
  • Data management

Each unit works together to seamlessly deliver a flow of information from databases to the city portal and internal reports. Often, the advanced analytics unit uses statistical techniques to uncover relationships and generate predictions to improve city operations.

We design City of Chicago digital products and services with Chicagoans. It’s our mission to listen, amplify, and design with the community to build better technology experiences for everyone.

We stand on the shoulders of giants like USDS18F, NYC’s Gov Lab and Service Design Studiode Waag in Amsterdamthe Lab at OPMthe United Kingdom’s Digital Services team, and more.

  • Chicago Design System: our standards and methods for producing digital services, derived from federal standards

The Enterprise Applications program manages, maintains, designs, and develops all of the enterprise applications. These applications include: financial management, purchasing, human resource, regulatory, inspections, customer relationships management, health and human services, and procurement and compliance.

The mission of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program is to employ geospatial technology to cost-effectively improve the delivery of services and the quality of decision-making for the City of Chicago

 The GIS team

  • administers and operates geospatial and Global Positioning System (GPS) software products and systems
  • creates, manages and maintains over 700 geospatial data sets (tables and layers)
  • creates, manages and maintains web applications that leverage geospatial data for analysis and decision-making
  • creates, manages and maintains software services that enrich other city systems with geospatial data
  • produces digital maps of City information.

The Information Security Office (ISO) is responsible for evaluating and responding to cyber risks to the City’s technical estate.

The ISO, created in 2013, performs enterprise security monitoring and response. The ISO works in a “Shared Services” model, evaluating and addressing  risks and vulnerabilities within the City. This model creates a center of excellence within ISO and results in significant operational efficiencies and cost savings over department driven responses.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The Planning, Policy, and Management division includes the Project Management Office (PMO), Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy program, and Information Research Services.

The PMO assigns project managers to manage key IT projects; sets project management standards and implements best practices; provides project management process support to all staff members that manage projects; provides transparency into the performance of the project portfolio; and, supports project portfolio management processes, including project ideation, selection, and prioritization. 

The division also supports ICT Policy initiatives, including providing management support and oversight to the City's Digital Excellence programs that provide Chicago residents with access to public technology resources and training; analyzing State or Federal Information and Communications Technology policies for impact on the City; and interacting with stakeholders from various offices and departments to further City technology initiatives and interests with the State or Federal governments and other agencies.

Technology Resources and Services in Chicago

Many organizations, including City departments and sister agencies, provide free technology resources and services to Chicagoans. For example, the Chicago Public Library provides technology resources, Internet-connected computers, computer help, and free Wi-Fi at its library branches are available to all Chicago residents. You can also check out wireless hotspots and computers at CPL through the Internet to Go program. 

The Department of Assets, Information, and Services (AIS) provides free wireless access at City facilities via ChicagoWiFi. Senior Centers have computer labs and technology training classes for residents aged 50+; and, Community Service Centers and Veterans Centers also have free computer access. 

Connect Chicago brings all these resources to one virtual place, allowing residents and visitors—including those with limited digital skills—to easily find convenient and publicly-accessible technology resources and services.

Our vision is simple: to make it possible to find City information, and conduct every interaction with the City of Chicago, online.

  • Any time, any place and with any device.
  • In a secure, accessible and cost-effective manner.
  • With simple, engaging, easy-to-use tools.

The Software Development team is responsible for the following:

  • Create and support websites, web applications and web services that help City Departments serve their audiences and fulfill their missions.
  • Create and support the City’s Geographical Information Systems (GIS). GIS is used to
    1. assign geospatial location coordinates to City data
    2. maintain and manage 300+ layers of geospatial data sets
    3. create and maintain web applications that use spatial data for analysis and decision-making
    4. produce digital maps of City information.
  • Administer and support certain Enterprise software products that are used throughout the City for document management, performance management and other purposes.

Specific Duties include:

  • Develop and operate the City of Chicago website (
  • Develop and support approximately 150 other custom-developed websites, web applications and web services used by public and internal audiences.
    1. Related activities include website search, analytics, security, accessibility and domain administration.
  • Manage over 300 layers of geographic data in the Enterprise GIS and build web tools and maps from that information.
  • Track Global Positioning System (GPS)-enabled City assets and provide this data to other systems.
  • Design, develop and support enterprise shared services, which include (among others) automated routing of 311 Service Requests and online payment processing.
  • Create and manage web hosting environments for City websites and applications.
  • Train and support web content managers who publish information on the City website and the Employee Intranet.
  • Administer and support the City's Enterprise Document Management platform, used by City Departments to store, retrieve and manage documents.
  • Administer and support the City's Enterprise Performance Management database, used by City Departments to track and manage operational performance metrics.

Technical Operations’ mission is to deliver, support and maintain real time access to the City’s enterprise systems and communications infrastructure while ensuring the continuity of the overall technology environment through comprehensive security management and disaster recovery services. 

  • Manages the City‘s Enterprise Infrastructure and technology investments;
  • Supports City staff in the use of technology; and
  • Oversees voice telecommunications and network systems.

Technical Operations is comprised of four distinct offices: Enterprise Server OperationsEnd User Computer Operations, Enterprise Architecture and Telecommunications Management. 

Enterprise Server Operations

Enterprise Server Operations is responsible for the City’s Central Data Center Disaster Recovery Sites, and governance and administration of cloud environments Daily activities include the operation and maintenance of City enterprise server and mainframe technologies, data storage, tape management and print services. The Data Center provides 24x7 operations support for the City’s Enterprise Systems.  

End User Computing Operations

End User Computer Operations manages the centralized Help Desk, field/desktop support, enterprise messaging (Microsoft Exchange/Outlook), file/print services, IT asset management, and Microsoft Active Directory administration. These services support the internal City employees that use the enterprise technology systems provided by AIS. These end user services include personal computing, local area networking, technical training, service ticket management, technical support services, and short-term project consulting and implementation. 

Network and Telecommunications Management

Telecommunications Management provides cost effective voice communications to all City Departments.  This group administers and maintains over two hundred, fifty (250) city sites, more than 25,000 voice stations and the City’s internal Call Centers. They also manage all wireless devices issued to City employees including pagers, cell phones, PDA’s and data access cards. Responsibilities include ordering, managing and bill payment for all voice services and data circuits on behalf of City Departments.

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