Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) Update

AnchorVolume 10, Issue No. 4                                                                                               Jul-Aug, 2018   

New Georgia Cyber Center debuts July 10     

We've quickly gone from being months away to now just days away from the opening of the Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta. We're excited. We're eager. And sure, we're a bit anxious over such an ambitious effort coming on line. But importantly, we're ready.

We're ready to welcome officials from federal, state and local government to the center July 10 when Gov. Deal will host a grand opening ceremony. Leaders from Georgia's academic and education systems will be there too, along with members of the military, law enforcement community and private companies that will take part in the center's work.

We're ready for the very first conference to be held at the Cyber Center - the GTA-hosted Technology Summit July 11. This year's summit (see summit article below), our seventh annual, is themed Strengthening Georgia's Cyber Defenses. It's a fitting inaugural, and we look forward to profiling the center's mission, programs and facilities, as well as the cybersecurity landscape the center enters into.
We're ready to see the Governor's vision for promoting cybersecurity come to life. That is, a center that serves as a hub for innovation and collaboration across sectors and cultivation of a skilled cybersecurity workforce. Those are all sorely needed to effectively defend the state's data and systems, and the interests of Georgians. The Cyber Center will provide a significant boost to that cause. 
Without a doubt, we're ready to see the center's construction, which GTA has coordinated, reach its culmination. That's something to celebrate across the many contributing teams, and we'll do so at the July 10 opening. At the same time we're mindful this is really the launch of implementation of the center's programs. From incubator of innovative cybersecurity services to cyber crime lab to cyber range and training regimens, this is where the tangible work of strengthening cyber defenses will be done.
We're privileged at GTA to have a part in it, and to work with so many capable partners. Of course, the story continues beyond July. Building two of the campus is also taking shape. A December opening is planned for it, and I hope soon to be able to say once again, we're ready.

CyberCtr rendering June2018

Our work isn't limited to the Cyber Center. Check below for news of the considerable progress GTA is making with the re-procurement of infrastructure services for the GETS shared services program. I'm confident agencies will find tangible benefits from enhanced services being introduced in the end user computing and server arenas.
Plus, GTA is pleased to announce 2018 honorees in our annual  Technology Innovation Showcase. Outstanding examples of IT-enabled work from across Georgia state and local government are listed in the Showcase article below. I commend the efforts and look forward to recognizing the agencies and entities this fall at the Georgia Digital Government Summit. 
Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Calvin Rhodes
State Chief Information Officer
GTA Executive Director
Collaboration a key theme of summit on cyber defenses
SummitTo address a risk, you first need to understand it. And once you understand just how serious cybersecurity risks can be, you quickly appreciate they're too big for any one of us to take on alone. If ever collaboration was key to success, it most certainly is in defending against cyber threats.
That's why it's critical to come together across government and the private sector and academia to tackle pervasive cybersecurity concerns. That collaboration will be emphasized at the GTA Technology Summit July 11 at the state's new Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta.
Themed Strengthening Georgia's Cyber Defenses, this seventh annual GTA-hosted summit will mark the very first conference held at the Cyber Center, which will have opened its doors just the day before. The 2018 summit also stands to be the best attended yet, with registration limits having been hit weeks ago. Looking at topics and speakers on the agenda, it's understandable,
Morning sessions are to include opening remarks by Gov. Nathan Deal, whose vision of promoting innovation and developing a skilled cybersecurity workforce led to creation of the Cyber Center. Then, participants will be invited to take a look inside the world of cyber criminals as IBM security expert Etay Maor discusses the dark web. Mr. Maor will examine just how vulnerable companies, government entities and individuals can be. He'll display dark web sites where the cyber criminal's tools can be bought and sold -- everything from drugs and guns to malware and the means of identity theft.
Experts from across the cybersecurity field will describe the cyber threat landscape and efforts to stay ahead of the risks. Via panel discussions, they will address topics including cyber workforce development, cyber crime fighting, cybersecurity policymaking, and the cyber range at the new Cyber Center.
Then in the afternoon, Gartner expert Daryl Plummer will explore digital disruption in the summit's second keynote address. Mr. Plummer will argue the importance for organizations, public and private, to be ready to effectively evaluate digital disruption and respond constructively. He'll explain how it's a key to thriving in today's fast-changing environment.
The center is a fitting venue for the 2018 summit. Signaling leadership in the cybersecurity discipline, the state of Georgia is investing $100 million to create the Georgia Cyber Center. It will become a focal point for building Georgia's cyber defense capabilities.
Showcase highlights how IT opens path to better services 
ShowcaseThe following projects have been selected to receive top honors in Georgia's Technology Innovation Showcase for 2018:
  • CRM and Process Automation Implementation - Department of Administrative Services
  • Intellectual Development Disabilities Service Review and Technical Assistance Application - Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
  • Expanding C2G Through Story Mapping - Cobb County
  • Electronic Plans Submission and Review - DeKalb County
  • KOALA Provider Self-Service and - Department of Early Care and Learning
  • Georgia Gateway - Department of Human Services
  • Unemployment Insurance Wage File Upload - Department of Labor
  • OSAH Operation Paperless - Office of State Administrative Hearings
  • Enhancements to Banner Student Information System - University System of Georgia
Project overviews are posted on the GTA website. These projects will be honored at the Georgia Digital Government Summit on September 20, 2018, in Atlanta.
GTA sponsored the showcase for the seventh consecutive year as a way to recognize innovative uses of technology in state and local government agencies in Georgia and to share ideas, experiences, and lessons learned. In selecting projects to receive top honors, the evaluation panel focuses on the level of innovation in addressing a specific business problem and the significance of the project to improving operating efficiency, saving money, and enhancing service delivery.
Three 2017 showcase projects went on to earn NASCIO recognition last year, including a coveted first place award for the Georgia Division of Child Support Services. Projects from the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Department of Revenue were finalists in NASCIO's awards program.
Enhanced server services coming to GETS agencies    
In early June GTA awarded a contract for server services to Unisys. This most recent piece of the GETS infrastructure services re-procurement will bring another new service provider, as well as new and improved services, to GETS customer agencies.

Unisys is scheduled to begin providing GETS services January 1, 2019, as responsibility transfers from current provider IBM. The contract with IBM, provider of GETS server services since 2009, will have reached its agreed expiration.

Already, Unisys team members have met with the larger transition team comprising GTA staff and representatives from multisourcing integrator Capgemini and other GETS service providers and partners. That begins the six-month path to smoothly integrate Unisys services into existing GETS processes, tools and ways of doing business. As with other recent GETS service introductions, the goal is to maintain service continuity for customer agencies.

Unlike the end user computing services newly introduced via NTT DATA (see EUC article), server services can appear technical and less plain to the layperson. And while in many cases they may be behind-the-scenes technology considerations, they remain critical to all who rely on GETS services, from technicians to system architects and engineers, and yes, even to non-IT staff.  
These are things like data center services and server services, whether for hardware in the state's North Atlanta Data Center or hosted elsewhere. Also included are identity and directory management, which govern in part who has access to which systems and tools. Disaster recovery and storage services are covered as well. And, new to the GETS program, cloud broker services will be introduced to help guide choices that may involve cloud computing services.
Clearly, Unisys will bring a broad range of offerings to Georgia's IT enterprise.  
New ways to promote healthy GETS computing environment 

EUCAt the start of the month, as others sized up their July Fourth options, NTT DATA commenced service provision as the GETS end user computing services provider. No fireworks, but it's a change that will be felt over time by some 40,000 staff in agencies statewide
End user computing (EUC) services center on the computer on people's desk. The technician who helps if there's a problem with that PC. The tools like anti-virus and encryption that protect computers. The network printers we rely on. These services are essentials. They have to work, every day, every time you need them.
NTT DATA is prepared. They know the GETS community. Serving previously as a subcontractor to IBM, they've been the hands behind EUC services in GETS since the program's 2009 start. But they're not just offering more of what they've been doing. Like the mainframe and print to mail GETS re-procurements before it, this EUC re-procurement delivers new and enhanced IT services.
EUC refresh is a clear example. That's the program that assures GETS personal computers and tablets are regularly updated with new equipment. NTT DATA isn't re-writing the refresh process, but they will introduce considerably more automation into it.
Automated refresh notifications will be emailed to computer users when it's time for a PC replacement. Self-service scheduling of refresh appointments becomes possible. Automated reminders and refresh completion acknowledgements are also introduced. Combined, this should bring a smoother refresh experience for computer users. And, the program promotes a healthy GETS computing environment by keeping PCs current.
NTT DATA will also introduce an enhanced EUC hardware depot. They'll maintain depot stock that will allow delivery within five days of most standard EUC catalog items. That's the equipment agencies need to accomplish their work. 
Once their new offerings are fully in place, NTT DATA will also deliver more complete software license management information to GETS agencies, helping agencies ensure licensing compliance. And NTT DATA envisions something brand new to GETS -- a kind of micro EUC support center. Called a tech bar, it can be ordered and situated right on the premises of an agency's office space.   
  • The ongoing GETS program infrastructure services re-procurement continues with a managed security services request for proposal. It targets enhancements (e.g., creation of a centralized security operations center) to existing GETS security services. As with the mainframe, print to mail, end user computing and server re-procurements recently accomplished, GTA benefits significantly from collaboration and input from GETS agencies.
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