Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) Update

AnchorVolume 9, Issue No. 2                                                                                               Mar-Apr, 2017  

Staying ahead of the bad guys by bolstering the good guys  
I stood with a collection of Georgia officials, city leaders and U.S. Army representatives in Augusta as Gov. Deal signed the state's amended FY 2017 budget in mid February. Why such a large and diverse bunch flanking the Governor? Well, as you may have learned by now, the amended budget includes $50M to establish the new Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center on state-owned property in Augusta. And putting this ambitious effort in motion and seeing it through will require a host of participants. 
GTA is charged with overseeing construction.  And as we work to build the facility, we will build partnerships right and left, pulling on the talents of the many entities on hand for the budget signing. 
We'll work closely with Augusta University, the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia, local governments and school systems, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia National Guard, federal agencies, as well as private corporations.  Each has a critical part in the effective workings of the cyber center, both during its creation and into its operations.

GTA's role also includes helping shape the center's work and implement its programs. A key piece of that is the Georgia Cybersecurity Academy, a cybersecurity awareness and training regimen for information security officers in state agencies and local governments. The Academy will operate from the center and will be administered by State Chief Information Security Officer Stanton Gatewood and his Office of Information Security team at GTA.
Gov. Deal has said the budget he recently approved addresses the most critical issues facing the state and represents an investment in Georgia's top priorities. In his words, "As we look to maintain Georgia as the No. 1 place in which to do business today, we are also looking to the future so that Georgia will lead the way in job creation and cybersecurity."
The new cyber center is pivotal to turning that vision into reality. We at GTA are proud and excited, as I'm sure other participants are too, to have an opportunity to contribute. And it's upon us right away. The project's timeline targets a groundbreaking this spring and an opening in July 2018. We're off and running, with a great group of runners around us. I thank them in advance for what we'll accomplish together.

If you'd like to read more about the planned cyber center, see details in a news release from the Governor's Office.
Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Calvin Rhodes
State Chief Information Officer
GTA Executive Director
Technology summit to explore disruptive technology's upside 

What if disruption could be turned to your advantage? What if it were a beacon to guide you to new possibilities for serving customers?

In the technology realm it can be. Disruptive technology changes your course and your travel mode. Granted, there's no guarantee it won't send you across some rocky terrain. But if you plan for it, disruption takes on a different glow -- the much more welcome glow of opportunity.

Promoting positive outcomes from disruptive technology for your agency is at the heart of the 2017 GTA-hosted Technology Summit, scheduled for Monday, May 15th. This year's event, the sixth annual, will challenge attendees to embrace digital innovation that is transforming government, and harness the change it brings to benefit your agencies and the Georgians you serve.
Four dimensions of turning disruption into change for the better will be explored. As with last year's summit, attendees will be able to choose a topic track best suited to their responsibilities for technology-related change and business outcomes. Tracks include:
  • Georgia's state government web presence and managing it as an effective digital ecosystem
  • Cybersecurity programs, technologies and trends and how to promote the robust defenses needed
  • Effective management of technology investments, plus a structured way to guide the people side of change
  • A flexible technology services program (GETS) ready to capitalize on IT innovation to meet business needs
The summit is once again directed toward technology and business leaders from Georgia's state government agencies.  Market-leading service providers will discuss state-of-the-art use cases and solutions, and will be joined by GTA leaders in each of the subject areas described above. The full-day event will be held at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center in Midtown Atlanta. It will be offered at no charge for Georgia public sector staff.

For now, save the date. And stay tuned for more details, including registration information, coming later this month

Health agencies' ambitious IT project pilot a success  

The state's largest IT initiative, Georgia Gateway, is enjoying a successful pilot phase this month, setting the stage for statewide implementation beginning this spring and extending into summer.
Formerly called the Integrated Eligibility System or IES, it's an expansive and collaborative effort among Georgia's health agencies and other state entities. The goal: Design and implement a computer-based integrated eligibility system and business processes spanning multiple public assistance programs. Programs include Medicaid, PeachCare for Kids®, Planning for Healthy Babies, SNAP/Food Stamps, TANF, WIC, and others.
Georgia Gateway is geared for ease and convenience of managing benefits for program participants. Having a single application coordinated across multiple health and human services programs will expedite the eligibility and enrollment process. Program participants gain self-service access. And taxpayers earn new protection against waste and fraud. The new system replaces long-serving systems such as SUCCESS, and provides an enhanced level of service to meet customers' and workers' needs today.
Managed by the Department of Human Services, the project also involves the departments of Community Health, Public Health, and Early Care and Learning. Months and even years of preparation led up to the recent pilot with Henry County.
GTA's contribution to the project comes in facilitating the sharing of data. GTA's Enterprise Service Bus serves as the "vehicle" for moving data securely and reliably among applications and systems. The new Georgia Gateway will capture a customer's information once, check it against 205 interfaces for 36 different federal, state, and private sector entities to verify eligibility, and apply the results across multiple human services programs. 
Digital transformation can't escape justice, or vice-versa    
Smooth integration across systems, data sources, agencies, jurisdictions and stakeholders is a hallmark of the digital transformation of government services. That puts Georgia's new Criminal Justice E-filing project squarely in the sphere of changing the way government works, for the better.

E-filing aims high: Ensure more complete, reliable, consistent and accessible information about criminal cases from start to finish of the case lifecycle. The project will automate manual, paper-based business processes and foster electronic exchange of information among state and local criminal justice agencies.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) serves as primary business owner. Stakeholders include Georgia sheriffs, judges, court clerks, prosecuting attorneys and public defenders, the Georgia Department of Corrections and more.

A range of data systems, handling large data volumes, will need to be smoothly linked. GTA's Enterprise Service Bus will become the hub for all those data exchanges.

The E-filing project is the first to receive the expanded governance attention afforded under the new Large IT Project Executive Decision-Making Board policy. Initiated by the Governor's Office and enacted by GTA at the start of 2017, that policy mobilizes a board to help manage high-impact, high-dollar and high-complexity efforts like this one
Commissioners of Georgia's Department of Administrative Services and the Office of Planning and Budget sit on the board along with GTA's executive director. For the E-filing project, the board also includes business leaders from GBI as the agency directing the project. 

  • Don't miss a chance to put a spotlight on your IT achievements. A March 10th deadline for submissions is fast approaching for the GTA-sponsored Georgia Technology Innovation Showcase. It recognizes agencies for innovative use of technology allowing them to operate efficiently and better serve constituents.  State and local government agencies are encouraged to submit projects. See details and an online submission form on the GTA website. Projects selected for showcase recognition will be honored at the Georgia Digital Government Summit in Atlanta later this year. Honorees will be referenced in the state of Georgia's Annual State IT Report, and they will be considered for submission to the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) for its 2017 State IT Recognition Awards, the Technology Association of Georgia's Excalibur Awards, and others.
  • Georgia Public Broadcasting became the first agency to implement the new GETS Voice over IP service when it migrated earlier this year to Hosted Voice Solution (HVS) service, AT&T's VoIP offering. Other GETS program voice customers in queue for VoIP can be encouraged by early success at GPB. Recognizing market movement toward VoIP and similar services, GETS is nudging voice customers in that direction. Agencies wanting to explore HVS are encouraged to engage AT&T to help gauge network considerations. Network capacity, cabling and circuits have to be accounted for to enable VoIP, and that takes time. Planning ahead becomes especially important. Contact your Agency Relationship Manager (ARM) who can put you in touch with the right AT&T resources.


  • The re-procurement of infrastructure services continues on schedule for the GETS shared IT services program. Three component requests for proposals (RFPs) have been published including mainframe/print-to-mail services, end user computing services and server services. All three address services now contracted through IBM under an agreement running through June 2017. The re-procurement continues to be built on close collaboration among GTA and agencies served by the GETS program.

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