Jocelyn Young

Gila River Indian Community
MIS Director


What can you tell us about your IT team?

Our team, made up of 41 positions, provides support and service to all areas of the community, including areas such as tribal government, land management, judicial branch, public works, housing, education, back of house functions, enrollment, public safety and beyond. We are currently setup with different sections for each area of focus with IT; Network, Security/Data Center, Administration, Database (including In-House Database Development) and Technical Support. We also are kicking off a new data center project for the community. I report directly to the Community Manager. The community employs over 2,100 individuals and offers many membership services. Our infrastructure is the backbone that allows some of those services that use technology to be deployed.

What can you tell us about the technology you have in place?

We are a Cisco shop when it comes to infrastructure and a Dell, Panasonic and Apple shop when it comes to our desktops. We are in the midst of moving to a more virtual environment as well as replacing end of life hardware to help in power consumption. We are still making this transition but already are starting to notice some differences and improvements in efficiency.

What are the top projects your team is focusing on currently?

We are just getting started with a large capital project for our new datacenter. That will be a major focus of resources for us this year but will be a big improvement for us in the end. We have some new installs and upgrades coming up but the one we are probably spending the most time evaluating is the move to Windows 10 and Office 2013.

What advice would you have for your peers in the industry?

My experience in the IT department at the tribe started in the database section as the manager for nine database coordinators. As an IT Manager for eight years I moved on to the IT Director. To anyone new to the position of IT Director for any organization, I would say to be prepared to wear many hats at a moments notice!