July marks a full year I’ve had the privilege of leading the Georgia Technology Authority. In that span, we’ve guided our train down different tracks. We’re moving in a direction that will best serve state agencies. And we’re still refining it. The sort of fundamental change we’re after in our services, and in how we provide services, is ambitious. It’ll take time, and it’ll be worth it, for Georgia.
This runs deeper than a shuffling of GTA's IT service offerings. There are new entries on that list and more varied options. They'll allow agencies more latitude in shaping their IT environments to suit their unique needs. But a corresponding change in GTA’s service philosophy may be just as important. Where once we might’ve said, “here’s what we offer,” now we’re asking, “what fits your needs?” And after collaborating with you to answer that question, GTA will help connect you with those services.
Along with my leadership team (a number of them new to GTA in the last year), I’m emphasizing a customer service orientation. Any GTA team member can tell you, we’re cultivating a customer service mindset across our teams. We aim to make successful customer engagement our first thought, never an afterthought. We’re training together to ensure we have the skills to realize that aspiration.
GTA services are changing, in step with the always-evolving technology landscape. Our focus on migrating to cloud computing services is the plainest illustration. It takes some time to mobilize for such an involved transition, but in coordination with agencies and service providers, we’re making real progress. We hope to be able to report successful migrations soon, with agencies then enjoying more administrative control of their server environments.
We’ve established what we call a strike team which we’ve already seen make a difference in meeting agencies' technology needs. The strike team meets with an agency to dissect a challenge and then connects the agency with technology resources in GTA that can address the need. We were pleased to see that approach succeed in introducing a chatbot for providing tax information on the Department of Revenue’s website. Other opportunities will be explored.
We’re also continuing to hone the state’s cybersecurity capabilities and readiness. We’re looking into new ways of partnering across state entities and working together to address security considerations none of us might hope to tackle alone. There’s also momentum in streamlining the state’s approach to IT procurement. If you want glamour, you don't look to procurement, but likely I don’t have to convince you these improvements are meaningful.
This train has a head of steam. I’m eager to see what’s around the bend, and the next. I fully expect vistas will open where we find ourselves contributing to more efficient workings of state government. Government that meets the needs of Georgians. With your continued partnership and input along the way, the trip and the destination will be even more rewarding.
State Chief Information Officer
GTA Executive Director