Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) Update

AnchorVolume 10, Issue No. 1                                                                                               Jan-Feb, 2018   

Momentum marks start of 2018  for state's IT enterprise 

It's encouraging to be able to claim forward momentum, especially at the start of a new year. Take a look across Georgia enterprise IT, and you'll see we've entered 2018 with a good head of steam.  
Cybersecurity is key among those enterprise concerns, and on January 3rd we broke ground on the second building of the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training. Governor Deal and other distinguished officials put shovels in the ground in Augusta to kick off a new phase of the center's creation. The Governor noted remarkable progress, and truly it is remarkable.
You'll remember plans for the Cyber Center were first announced in January 2017, just one year ago. Gov. Deal allocated $60 million for a 167,000 square-foot facility, and today an already partially clad steel skeleton of the Center stands as a new entry in Augusta's riverfront community. We're building aggressively toward a planned July 2018 opening.
Now a second building is in the works, this one set to open in December. It brings an additional 165,000 square feet of space and is budgeted at $35 million. At the groundbreaking on a chilly afternoon last week, the Governor and other speakers explained the building will be an incubator for technology startups and will offer lease space to private companies supporting the state's cybersecurity efforts.
This marks a significant expansion of what was already an ambitious effort to develop a home for cybersecurity innovation, collaboration, exploration, as well as education and training to prepare a ready cybersecurity workforce. GTA is proud to continue to coordinate construction and operation of the Cyber Center. We expect an intense build-out through 2018, and along with all the partners involved, we look forward to the center's opening and serving as a great asset to Georgia. (See additional Cyber Center news below.)   
Of course momentum isn't limited to cybersecurity. You'll find it again in the state's GETS IT services program, in our web portal and publishing platform, in innovative technology investments made by a host of state agencies, and beyond. It's an exciting time to be part of IT here in Georgia government. I look forward to continuing strong collaboration with you, and to all we'll accomplish together this year .
Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Calvin Rhodes
State Chief Information Officer
GTA Executive Director
Putting bricks and mortar behind cyber preparedness 
With the Governor's announcement in November of plans for a second building, a big deal grew even bigger at the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training in Augusta. The facility dedicated to cybersecurity preparedness and cyber workforce development in Georgia now represents an investment exceeding $100 million. That puts the state in the forefront of this critical technology concern facing not just government, but private enterprise worldwide.
Governor Deal and other officials broke ground on the second building January 3rd (see photos below). The two buildings together will provide more than 330,000 square feet of space where government, academia and private industry can come together to build and tune defenses against cyber threats. The first building is to open in July, and the second in December.
GTA continues to oversee the Cyber Center's construction. Its many partners in the effort and in eventual operations include the U.S. Army Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, the state's university and technical college systems, the City of Augusta, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia National Guard, local school systems and private entities.
Cyber Ctr groundbreak2 GovDeal  
Cyber Ctr groundbreak2 shovels
Photos by Phil Jones, Augusta University
A new logo
Georgia Cyber Ctr logo  
The newly introduced logo for the Cyber Center symbolizes the state's commitment and investment toward safeguarding its citizens against cybersecurity threats.
The "G" represents the state of Georgia and a solid foundation made up of strong educational institutions, innovative businesses and ready workforce. Above it sits a fortress symbolizing protection of Georgia citizens and beyond. 
Re-procurement brings new mainframe provider to GETS 
At the start of December, IT services company Atos began providing GETS mainframe services, culminating a months-long, carefully coordinated handoff from former mainframe provider IBM in the state's shared IT services program.
It's tangible progress with a GETS infrastructure services re-procurement spanning not just mainframe, but also end user computing, print-to-mail and server services. With the mainframe category achieved, transition teams have set patterns that will guide service transitions still ahead this year.
A clear priority in the Atos transition and others is safeguarding the system performance GETS agency customers rely on. That is accomplished via knowledge transfer, shadowing and reverse shadowing between outgoing and incoming providers. Plus, new service providers are integrated into the GETS shared processes and tools for delivering services, maintaining continuity of the GETS business practices agencies have come to know. (For the mainframe transition specifically, GTA thanks IBM for their invaluable participation and for providing GETS mainframe services over the last eight-plus years.)
Each transition is more than just a change in service provider. It brings updated services that best suit the evolving business needs of GETS agencies. Representatives from GETS agencies have provided invaluable input toward the re-procurement process to help ensure their agencies' needs are indeed addressed by the new services.
Even as "wet paint" signs remain posted for brand new mainframe provider Atos, GTA in early January announced a notice of award for the print-to-mail category of the re-procurement. Xerox will be the provider of these services. Transition work will begin quickly to bring them onto the GETS shared services delivery platform. Re-procurement activities for end user computing and server services continue.
Digital services with the user top of mind - still essential   

When the Office of Digital Services (formerly GeorgiaGov Interactive) talks about digital strategy, they emphasize fundamentals.
  • Focus on the user.
  • Focus on content - content the user wants.
  • Focus on presenting that content the way(s) that most benefit(s) the user.
Do those things consistently, the Digital Services team says, and your digital efforts will pay dividends for the folks your agency is out to serve.
If it all sounds familiar, it's likely because GTA's Digital Services team (DSGa) has said it before. It's all still true and still relevant. As the team shared at a November GOVTalks conference, these fundamentals are borne out by research. Digital Services has worked to better understand how citizens interact with their government digitally, and some themes emerge:
  • People care most about their intent (the reason they're interacting with government) - much more than figuring out how government is structured or worrying with your organizational information. They have a task they're trying to accomplish.
  • People don't value agency brands, org charts, color schemes or visual frills. (That stuff doesn't help them.) They're after content or services on your website, sort of like an Easter egg hunt.
  • People expect a trustworthy, easy-to-understand, and unified state digital presence. Individual agency brands matter little to them. They look for a consistent experience across all State of Georgia agencies. That includes simple language, usability best practices and certain visual elements that establish trust.
Stay tuned to Digital Services blogs in the months ahead where these topics will be explored further. In the meantime, Digital Services reminds us we are a single GeorgiaGov serving all Georgians, using both digital and traditional channels. We're all in this together.

  • The Annual State IT Report from GTA for 2017 includes a focus on ambitious cybersecurity efforts to defend against cyber threats. Those range from cyber security assessments and cyber insurance for Georgia's state agencies, to the planned Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta and the Georgia Cybersecurity Workforce Academy. The report also summarizes state IT investments that produced tangible benefits for Georgians in the past year, including some award-winning efforts by varied agencies. Other work outlined includes procuring new services through the state's GETS program in innovative ways to match state agencies' business needs with best-suited technologies; assisting agencies through creation of the Georgia Enterprise IT Strategic Plan 2025; and, tuning the state's web portal to ensure easy access for Georgians to a range of services. Report details will soon be accessible on the GTA website.
  • GTA expresses sincere appreciation to the golfers and sponsoring companies that combined forces to make the November 2017 GTA Charitable Contributions Golf Tournament a record-setting success. The sixth annual tournament held on Veterans Day holiday at Stone Mountain Park drew a record number of golfers registered. Support from them and from sponsors including the tournament's title sponsor NTT Data pushed this year's proceeds to a new high of $25,000. The tournament once again benefited the State Charitable Contributions Program, which supports hundreds of charitable organizations providing services across Georgia.

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