Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) Update

AnchorVolume 9, Issue No. 4                                                                                               Jul-Aug, 2017  

Bumper crop of Georgia-grown IT innovations in government    
You've seen the Georgia Grown signs in markets, restaurants and retailers. They point you to produce and ingredients raised right here in our state -- fresh and full of local flavor. 

In IT we have our version of that too. When innovative ideas for technology use rise up in Georgia state and local government, we like to recognize them. And we do, with the annual Technology Innovation Showcase.
For 2017, crop yields are high for these Georgia-grown IT innovations. I'm privileged to announce the projects chosen to receive top honors in this year's showcase:
  • Journey to Procurement Excellence: DeKalb County
  • GDC on the Go - Offender Count: Department of Corrections
  • Inmate Re-entry Project: Departments of Corrections and Driver Services
  • Child Support Mobile App: DHS Division of Child Support Services
  • Fraud Management Solution: Department of Revenue
  • Electronic Case Filing: Fulton County
  • How GIS Web Applications Improved the Elections Process: Fulton County
  • Adult Education Chatbot: Technical College System of Georgia
  • BANNER Mobile: Technical College System of Georgia
Project overviews are posted on GTA's website. Take a look. I think you'll be impressed by the innovative work being done across Georgia, for Georgians. From education to health services to corrections and elections, you'll see technology being used to improve services and gain efficiency.  
GTA has sponsored the Technology Innovation Showcase six years now, and it's harder each time to single out projects from such strong entries. The public- and private-sector technology experts on the evaluation panel have no easy time of it.

The real dividends here of home-grown come when we get to share good ideas and learn from each other. And of course, we don't miss a chance to honor the growers. We present showcase honors at the Georgia Digital Government Summit in the fall. I always look forward to the chance to recognize your innovative work in front of your state IT peers.

With all this talk of locally grown, I should mention what's being planted in Augusta. We broke ground there in June on the planned state-owned cyber center, and we're moving in high gear toward a July 2018 opening. Read the details in a cyber center article in this newsletter.

The center holds exciting prospects for the state. Among other programs, robust training for state agency information security officers (ISOs) will be delivered there -- onsite and virtually. You don't even have to wait for the doors to open. Check information today about the Georgia Cybersecurity Workforce Academy, led by GTA's Office of Information Security. 
Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Calvin Rhodes
State Chief Information Officer
GTA Executive Director
The dirt flies in Augusta as cyber center breaks ground   

CyberCenterGeorgia strengthened its spot as a national leader in cybersecurity when it broke ground June 19, 2017, on the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center in Augusta. 
Governor Nathan Deal led the groundbreaking ceremony which included remarks by: Major General John Morrison, commander of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon in Augusta; Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr.; and former U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss.

Cyber center groundbreak construction site
Construction crews ready ground for the planned Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center in Augusta. (photo: Nanci Glazer-Gay)

Scheduled to open in July 2018, the 167,000-square-foot center is named in honor of Augusta natives James M. Hull and William D. McKnight. It will promote modernization in cybersecurity technology through education, training and practical applications. The center will enhance cybersecurity in both public and private sectors and serve as an incubator for start-up cybersecurity companies. Emphasis will be placed on research and development, tapping into the assets of Georgia's research institutions.
The center will also feature a cyber range where testing of cyber defenses and skills can be performed live in a safe, secure setting. In addition, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will operate a cybercrime lab at the facility.
Augusta was chosen as the site for the center because of its proximity to Fort Gordon, which is home to the U.S. Army Cyber Command, the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, and the National Security Agency.
GTA oversees construction and will operate the center. M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates, Inc., is the architect for the center, and New South Construction is the general contractor. Jones Lang LaSalle is the construction project manager.
Cyber center groundbreak ceremony shovels
Lined up at the starting gates: The cyber center's construction timeline is aggressive, with opening scheduled just more than a year from the June groundbreak. (photo: Phil Jones, Augusta University)

Key partners in the center include Augusta University, City of Augusta, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia.
View a gallery of photos on the GTA website from the groundbreaking ceremony.
Open source: GeorgiaGov has plenty to share  

The GeorgiaGov team is living the philosophy, if you love something, set it free. They announced in June they're opening up all their training materials and select code for use by other states, local government and organizations.
Why would they do it? They've taken open source to heart. As managers of the state's portal and web publishing platform, they say they've learned from others. They've learned about Drupal and cloud hosting, responsive design, accessibility and all that's gone into building a successful web platform. Now, they hope to turn it to the benefit of others.
So what exactly are they opening up? Training materials, for one. GeorgiaGov, a component of GTA, created in-depth training for state of Georgia content managers who feed the 85 or so websites hosted on That training covers not just the how but also the why of content management and strategy. It presents the whole story behind web activity critical to successful interaction with customers.
The why aspect is explored in a Content Specialist Certification workshop series developed earlier this year. It seeks to turn content managers into champions of customer-focused web content. They can then lead the charge for effective web content in their own organizations. The series can benefit content managers anywhere, not just state of Georgia.
It's an 18-credit-hour course that acquaints content managers with: understanding their customers and what motivates them; mapping how customers interact with them (i.e., customers' "journeys"); writing simple and accessible content; and creating and implementing a content strategy.
The sharing doesn't stop there. GeorgiaGov has made available code developed to support its web publishing platform. They're encouraging formation of a community of public and private organizations that can exchange ideas to address common concerns. And across the board, GeorgiaGov encourages partners to share resources for the benefit of all.
Georgia Gateway streamlines assistance program eligibility  
When you're facing a milestone moment for the state's largest IT initiative, you want it to go right. Happily it did, when 109 more Georgia counties were brought onto the new Georgia Gateway benefits eligibility system at the start of July.
  Georgia Gateway benefits eligibility system logo
Formerly called the Integrated Eligibility System or IES, Georgia Gateway is an ambitious effort among Georgia's health agencies and other state entities. It introduces an integrated eligibility system spanning multiple public assistance programs: Medicaid, PeachCare for KidsĀ®, Planning for Healthy Babies, SNAP/Food Stamps, TANF, WIC, and others.
The migration brings improvements for both assistance program workers and program recipien t s and applicants. The new system expedites the eligibility and enrollm ent process. Program part icipants gain self-service access. Plus, taxpayers earn new protection against waste and fraud.
Georgia's Department of Human Services manages the project, which also involves the departments of Community He alth, Public Health, and Early Care and Learning. The new system captures a customer's information once, then checks it against 205 interfaces for 36 different federal, state, and private sector entities to verify eligibility. It then applies the results across a range of human services programs. (GTA's Enterprise Service Bus allows data exchange among Georgia Gateway's parts and pieces.)
Georgia Gateway implementation continues this summer, encompassing all Georgia counties before the end of 2017.

  • GTA has published a notice of award (NOA), announcing last week Atos will become its provider of mainframe services. It's part of the re-procurement of infrastructure services for the GETS shared IT services program. This is the first of several awards expected in the months ahead as GTA (in collaboration with agencies served via GETS) re-procures computing and print services. Additional awards are anticipated for end user computing services, server services and print-to-mail services. All address services now provided through IBM under an agreement approaching its contracted expiration in the months ahead.
  • The newly published Georgia Enterprise IT Strategic Plan 2025 presents a vision for how technology can advance state government priorities in the years ahead. And, it provides direction to business and technology leaders in state agencies as they shape their technology investments. It can promote alignment across state government with the direction set for the state's IT enterprise. In developing the strategic plan, GTA collaborates with public- and private-sector IT leaders in Georgia and beyond. Emphases include: ensuring cybersecurity, managing data, capitalizing on technology to better serve constituents, and honing the state's shared IT services offerings. See a summary or download the full 2025 plan from GTA's website.
  • Responses to a survey of Technology Summit 2017 attendees indicate they found keynote presentations on the dark web and change management especially useful. The GTA-hosted event, titled "Disruptive Technology -- A Business Opportunity," drew about 230 attendees in mid-May. Better than than 70 percent of survey respondents ranked keynotes as the most valuable element of the summit, and more than 90 percent rated the summit very valuable or extremely valuable overall. Survey findings suggest 60 percent of attendees were technology professionals and 40 percent were business or administrative professionals. This mix encourages coordination between business and IT branches of government agencies.
  • Golfers, don't miss the sixth annual GTA Charitable Contributions Golf Tournament scheduled Monday, October 9 (Columbus Day holiday). Register a foursome, or sign up individually and be teamed with some new golfing buddies. Registration is affordable and easy via the tournament website, and discounts are available for early registration and for teams. Join GTA employees and friends for the 2017 tournament at beautiful Stone Mountain Park. The event benefits the State Charitable Contributions Program, which supports hundreds of charitable organizations providing services across Georgia.

In This Issue
Quick Links

mailing list