After a year on the job, Cole County Information Technology Director Brian Ridenhour said it's been an eye-opening experience.
"I came from the retail sector, and coming into public service brings a whole new perspective to day-to-day business," he said.
Ridenhour's primary responsibility is overseeing all county computer service and security issues.
"A lot of it is human interaction because I'm the piece that translates the technology over to the government sector," he said. "I translate their needs into what we have in the way of resources."
Perhaps the biggest challenge for Ridenhour is keeping up with changes in technology.
"You're looking at a technology turn every five years," he said. "That's just the way the industry is. Whether it's the operations system or computer hardware, it's a constant upgrade process."
Ridenhour said it's vital for government to keep up with those changes.
"Security is what people want to focus on today," he said. "You want to make sure that current subscriptions for antivirus and firewalls are kept up to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep bad things from the outside from coming in. You also have to educate the staff about what are the best policies they should be using to keep things safe."
Making things run efficiently does not come cheap, Ridenhour said.
"I've actually got a bigger budget here than when I was in retail sector, but by the same token this is a much bigger organization," he said. "The thing I enjoy working with the commissioners and others in county government is that everybody understands the significance or importance of what needs to happen with computer technology."