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The Ohio Data Center Group was organized in 1991 as a user group of County Sabre Systems software and Digital Equipment Corporation hardware users in Northeast Ohio. The charter members were Ashland, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Portage, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas Counties.
The initial function of the group soon evolved into support for a mutual disaster recovery agreement and then into broader support for all county information technology functions. Over time, as the active membership and technology changed, the emphasis on disaster recovery support diminished. However, the group remained extremely valuable as a milieu for sharing new ideas and technologies and for sharing the positive and negative experiences of working in a county government setting.
Since its first meeting in 1991, the group met, on average, every other month at a member county site. Meeting agendas included presentations by both members and vendors on a wide-range of information technology related topics.
Then, at the end of 2001, the idea of expanding the Data Center Group to all of Ohio was presented to the membership and unanimously approved. The first State-wide meeting was held in conjunction with the Ohio Digital Government Summit in Columbus on October 3, 2002. At that meeting, participants organized into regional groups, installed temporary officers and adopted a new name - the "Ohio County Information Technology Association." (OCITA).
Since its creation in October of 2002, OCITA's purpose has been to provide a setting in which county information technology workers can meet and share their successes and failures, their needs and their expertise. Its goals include the development of cooperative projects and the organization of a coordinated voice. It dreams of some day including every county in Ohio.
During the past several years, OCITA has focused most of its energies on organizational issues. In 2003 it elected a formal governing council, consolidated the regional groups into a single group, began meeting on a quarterly basis, wrote a constitution, and submitted the paperwork necessary to be recognized as a tax-exempt organization. OCITA has also continued its partnerships with Government Technology Magazine (the sponsors of the Ohio Digital Government Summit) and the State Department of Administrative Services in organizing its annual meeting and a special event highlighting topics pertinent to Ohio county government and to county IT professionals.
OCITA is open to all county/city IT professionals. Its membership is open to IT professionals from the offices of County Auditors, County Commissioners, County Executives, Boards of MRDD, Clerks of Court, Treasurers, Recorders, Engineers, Sheriffs, and any others who strive to improve the use of information technology in state and local government.