Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) Update

AnchorVolume 11, Issue No. 2                                                                                               Mar-Apr, 2019    

An outbreak of innovation
hits Georgia government IT 
Judging by the quantity and caliber of technology-enabled projects completed in recent years, you might be led to believe IT innovation is contagious. The evidence from Georgia government efforts certainly supports that.
Through the GTA-sponsored Technology Innovation Showcase, we learn of outstanding IT initiatives accomplished by Georgia's state and local government entities. And from all we've seen over the years, technology innovation is truly running rampant in our state.   
Submissions for this year's showcase (the eighth annual) are being accepted through March 15. If the innovation bug has bitten you, I hope we'll hear from you very soon with your entry into the 2019 showcase.
It's more than just an awards program. The showcase helps state and local agencies in Georgia learn about technology-enabled projects in other agencies -- projects that change the way government does business, for the better. It recognizes innovative uses of technology. It promotes break-the-mold thinking that allows agencies to better and more efficiently serve constituents.
Project categories for 2019 are slightly different from previous years. Category descriptions and the online submission form are available on the GTA website.
Projects selected for the 2019 showcase will be honored at the Georgia Digital Government Summit in Atlanta later this year. Showcase honorees will also be highlighted in the state of Georgia's Annual State IT Report. And, they will be considered for submission to other awards programs: the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) State IT Recognition Awards, the Technology Association of Georgia Excalibur Awards, and others.
Just last year a showcase honoree went on to receive a coveted first place award from NASCIO. That was the Georgia Gateway project, which brought implementation of the state's consolidated system for determining eligibility for an array of public-assistance programs. Maybe this year it's your project that wins attention.
We received 26 showcase entries from 16 agencies last year, and we anticipate another strong showing in 2019. I encourage you to participate. And because demands on your time are many, we've carefully designed the online form to make the submission process as quick and easy as possible. Give it a look. We'd love to learn where innovative IT work is taking you.
Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Calvin Rhodes
State Chief Information Officer
GTA Executive Director
Digital presence gets update: Building it with the people  
The Digital Services Georgia team is at work in a digital hard hat zone. Since last summer they've had mud on their boots and dust in their hair as they construct a new digital platform for Georgia's state government. And with every footing poured, every brick laid and joist installed (so to speak), they're building with the people - collaborating intensely with eventual users and managers of the platform to ensure it meets everybody's needs.
This upgrade to the state's digital presence is gaining momentum. Digital Services Georgia (DSGa), a component of the Georgia Technology Authority, is coordinating with a first batch of agencies toward migrating their websites to the new platform. Those new sites are expected to go live within the next several months, and work on other agencies' sites will follow.
Yes, there's fancy technical work behind the scenes. Logic has been worked and re-worked to ensure that platform workflows make sense. But you won't have to be a technician to recognize the changes coming to agency websites hosted on, the state's web platform. New colors, page layouts and homepages will be featured. New and clearer depictions of site content will be used. Changes are made with the site user always in mind. And, site editors should find their tasks streamlined too.
Three principles anchor the digital platform upgrade:
  1. Compliance with industry best practices and standards for accessibility, security, development and hosting.
  2. Consistency of message, not just in digital channels, but all channels used by Georgia government to serve citizens. That goes a long ways toward creating trust.
  3. Collaboration with those served by the platform - from Georgians interacting digitally with their state government, to content managers who daily maintain the digital presence. Building with the people has been a guiding theme.
Stay tuned for the dust to settle not too long from now. DSGa and state agencies will be proud to show you their new digital properties.
Cyber Center hosts ribbon-cutting for second building  
Gov. Deal at opening 
January 10 marked the completion of the second building of the Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta, with then-Governor Nathan Deal officially cutting the ribbon. With this addition, the $100 million Cyber Center now totals 332,000 square feet and is the single largest investment in a cybersecurity facility by a state government to date. The center aims to strengthen the state of Georgia's position as a national leader in cybersecurity through collaborative innovation, training and research.
The new Shaffer MacCartney Building is named for two who played central roles in establishing the Georgia Cyber Center. Michael Shaffer is executive vice president of strategic partnerships and economic development for Augusta University, and Teresa MacCartney served as the state's chief financial officer and director of the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget during Gov. Deal's administration.
Georgia Cyber Ctr logo

  • In the coming months, GTA will add a number of new GETS program services. Preparation is ongoing and includes monthly meetings with GETS agency focal groups. Service provider Unisys will bring new server offerings including rapid server provisioning, new storage and backup options, and cloud broker services to take advantage of cloud computing opportunities. Unisys will also partner with GETS agencies to create a consolidated active directory and single sign-on capabilities (i.e., computer users sign on once and then can access multiple tools and systems). In the security services area, provider Atos will deliver enhanced tracking, reporting and enterprise coordination of security information. And, a planned ISO-as-a-service offering will allow agencies to purchase access to information security officer pros to build a stronger security posture.
  • This year's GTA-sponsored Technology Summit is slated for May 13. The full-day event is once again directed toward technology and business leaders from Georgia's state government agencies and will be held in Atlanta at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center. Market-leading service providers will discuss state-of-the-art use cases and solutions, with additional input from GTA leaders. The 2019 summit, the eighth annual, 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 soon.
  • GTA recently published the Annual State IT Report and has made it available online at, The report highlights the considerable range of Georgia IT accomplishments in FY 2018. It addresses everything from the newly opened Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta and related cybersecurity efforts, to the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative, the state's IT expenditures, updates to the state's web platform and digital presence, GETS program enhancements, and much in between.
  • The Georgia Technology Authority has been recognized for its pioneering approach to sourcing IT services in the GETS program. The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) presented GTA a Global Excellence in Outsourcing (GEO) Award at the association's annual meeting in February. The award honors GTA for "innovative practices in creating value from collaborative relationships," according to IAOP. More specifically, the award recognizes GTA for its inventive method of strategic bundling and regular rebidding of GETS services as contracts expire. This approach helps ensure competitive pricing and technology innovation from service providers for the GETS program. GTA became the first public entity to win a GEO Award. See details on the IAOP website.

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