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Monday, December 11, 2023

City considering $900,000 laptop purchase to improve remote work efficiency

Ocala officials will consider a proposal to purchase over $900,000 worth of laptops to replace 6-year-old devices that staff say cannot be upgraded to Windows 11.

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the Ocala City Council will vote on a measure to purchase “citywide information technology equipment” that includes mid-end, high-end, and standard laptops. The measure will be presented by Christopher Ramos, who is the assistant director of Cyber and Physical security for the city.

According to city staff, the new devices will “increase the overall efficiency and security of the IT infrastructure” of the city and would provide departmental staff the “ability to work efficiently remotely and in the office, citywide.”

“Replacing [the laptops] will provide staff with one device to use in the office and remotely, which will serve as a cost savings for the city,” reads the agenda item. It goes on to claim that “proactively replacing the devices” will provide “added security” and reliability.

Staff says the current hardware will reach “seven years of service” this coming February and that a necessary software upgrade cannot be implemented “due to the age of the hardware.”

“The software that runs these devices is coming to its end of life, and due to the age of the hardware, it cannot be upgraded to the newer 8.0 version,” reads the city’s agenda item.

The total cost of the purchase would be approximately $941,590, and the devices would be used across multiple departments, including 72 new laptops and 25 new desktops for the Ocala Police Department.

The Ocala City Council will vote on the matter during their meeting on Tuesday, October 3. Council meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of every month at Ocala City Hall (110 SE Watula Avenue), beginning at 4 p.m.