Features

Schad Meldrum – City of Oklahoma City

Revolutionizing municipal tech in the Sooner state

As the director of information technology for the City of Oklahoma City, Schad Meldrum is the chief architect of technological progress within the municipal government. With his extensive expertise and visionary leadership, Meldrum leads the way in revolutionizing how technology is leveraged to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of various municipal operations. 

At the helm of the city’s IT department, Meldrum is responsible for steering various initiatives designed to modernize and enhance the city’s IT infrastructure. From upgrading legacy systems to implementing cutting-edge technologies, he ensures that the city remains at the forefront of innovation in the digital landscape. By staying ahead of emerging trends and technologies, Meldrum charts a strategic course for adopting transformative IT solutions that empower city departments to operate more efficiently and effectively. 

“I am committed to making technological advancements that propel our city forward, ensuring our operations are streamlined and optimized for the benefit of all residents,” Meldrum says. 

Driving technological innovation 

Recognizing the importance of addressing department-specific technology needs promptly, Meldrum’s team has assigned dedicated business analysts to each department. This proactive approach ensures that departments have a direct point of contact within the IT department for any special requirements beyond their regular IT services. Meldrum ensures that technology solutions align closely with departmental objectives. 

Meldrum oversees the Technology Advisory Committee, comprising skilled users from various departments. This committee meets quarterly to address high-level IT issues impacting their departments, fostering collaboration and ensuring that technology initiatives are aligned with departmental goals. Through regular meetings and discussions, the TAC provides a platform for sharing insights and collaboratively addressing challenges. 

“We maintain a service catalog of over 90 services and systems, and we have developed a comprehensive communication plan that utilizes department contacts and various committees and groups to facilitate coordination and innovation,” Meldrum says.  

The primary meetings with department contacts that accomplish this objective are weekly Change Advisor Board and Release Management meetings, quarterly department contacts meetings and the Technology Advisory Committee, he says.  

Meldrum’s leadership is instrumental in driving technological advancements across Oklahoma City. Recent projects include implementing Team Dynamix for IT Service Management and Project Portfolio Management, enhancing data analytics capabilities with new web applications, and upgrading essential systems such as Cityworks Mobile and Kronos TeleStaff. These initiatives underscore Meldrum’s commitment to leveraging technology to improve operational efficiency and service delivery. 

Despite the department’s significant achievements, Meldrum acknowledges the ongoing challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified IT professionals. With a vacancy rate above 15 percent, attracting and retaining talent remains a priority. Meldrum actively connects with city management and stakeholders to address these staffing challenges and ensure that the IT department remains well-equipped to meet the city’s growing technology demands. 

“As we continue to drive innovation and collaboration, our focus remains on enhancing service delivery, improving communication and leveraging technology to address the evolving needs of Oklahoma City and its residents,” he says.  

Connecting city departments 

In his role, Meldrum ensures technological integration across 19 city departments, serving over 5,000 full-time and part-time employees. With a lean team of 130 IT professionals, Meldrum spearheads initiatives to centralize and manage critical infrastructure, applications, and services essential for municipal operations. 

Under Meldrum’s direction, the IT department has implemented a system of departmental contacts, ensuring seamless communication between IT and other city departments. These designated contacts are crucial in bridging the gap by conveying crucial information regarding process changes, upgrades, and technical details to their respective departments. Additionally, they handle basic IT functions within their departments, such as setting up new computers or resetting passwords, streamlining the support process. 

To keep all stakeholders connected and informed, Meldrum employs a multifaceted approach. Through designated IT contacts in each department, regular online meetings, and communication platforms like “The Point,” crucial information flows seamlessly between the IT department and end-users. Strategic alignment meetings biannually facilitate collaboration between department heads, IT directors, and IT contacts to prioritize projects and allocate resources effectively. 

“I’m dedicated to ensuring seamless communication and collaboration across our city departments, leveraging technology to streamline operations and serve our community better,” Meldrum says. 

From chemistry to IT director 

Meldrum has seen a lot of success and innovation since joining the municipal government in August 1999. His academic background is as diverse as his career path, with a degree in chemistry from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s in environmental science from the Florida Institute of Technology. 

Despite his initial aspirations to work in scientific fields, Meldrum found himself inexorably drawn to IT. His natural talent and skill for information systems quickly became apparent, leading him to pursue self-study and obtain his Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certification. Reflecting on his early career, Meldrum recalls the days of Windows 95 and Windows Server 3.51, when he taught Microsoft certification night classes at a local career and technology education school. 

Meldrum’s career took an intriguing turn when he began working for the State of Oklahoma, where he was involved in a department designated as the state’s lead Geographic Information Systems (GIS) agency. Recognizing the immense potential of GIS in environmental programs, Meldrum seized the opportunity to delve deeper into this emerging field. His journey eventually led him to the City of Oklahoma City, where he embraced a role that combined his expertise in IT with his passion for GIS. 

Meldrum has driven technological advancements and innovation throughout his tenure with the City of Oklahoma City. His strategic vision and leadership have played a vital role in modernizing the city’s IT infrastructure and leveraging GIS technology to enhance various municipal services. 

“I’ve always been fascinated by technology, from studying chemistry to diving into IT. My journey led me to Oklahoma City. It’s been fulfilling to drive innovation and modernize our city’s tech landscape,” Meldrum says. 

View this feature in the Spring I 2024 Edition here.

Published on: April 24, 2024

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