Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) Update

AnchorVolume 9, Issue No. 5                                                                                               Sep-Oct, 2017  

State boasts three finalists among NASCIO IT awards     
If I say Georgia is a leader among states with its innovative use of technology, you could chalk it up to my bias. But I'm not the only one saying it.

Last month we learned that three technology projects from Georgia state agencies earned spots as finalists in this year's State IT Recognition Awards sponsored by the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO). It's Georgia's best showing in the 17-year history of the awards, widely considered the most prestigious presented for state government IT.
The Child Support Services Mobile App from the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) is one of three finalists in the category of Digital Government: Government to Citizen. The app lets users make child support payments via their mobile devices. Users can also review their payment history; view scheduled appointments, case activities, and details of child support orders; chat with a DCSS representative; and receive notifications and alerts about their cases.
The Department of Revenue's GenTax Fraud Management Solution is a finalist in the Improving State Operations category. By consolidating 23 different tax systems, GenTax provides revenue agents instant access to the total tax picture for a taxpayer, and a more effective way to identify fraud. It has increased tax and identity theft detection by 100 percent and saved the state $98 million in fraud prevention.
The WebEOC application at the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is a finalist in the Information Communications Technology category. The application provides real-time traffic information to support daily operations and enables fast, effective responses to emergencies, including accidents and extreme weather. It's just one of the information-gathering and monitoring technologies GDOT uses to support day-to-day decision making and response, as well as long-term planning.
Georgia's strong showing in NASCIO's awards program is no overnight success. Collectively, we've been working up to it for years, with innovative technology-driven services built on a foundation of modern IT infrastructure across the state enterprise. It's a winning combination for the citizens of this state. And you can be proud of the work you and your fellow Georgia agencies are doing.  
For its 2017 awards, NASCIO received more than 100 nominations. Eventual award recipients will be named from among finalists in each category at NASCIO's annual conference, October 2.

Elsewhere in this newsletter, read about the Georgia Digital Government Summit coming up at the end of October. The summit's organizing committee has assembled another strong program, and I encourage you to register and attend. Each year it's a valuable opportunity to learn from IT industry experts and from each other across Georgia's state and local government technology ranks. I hope to see you there.
Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Calvin Rhodes
State Chief Information Officer
GTA Executive Director
Ins and outs of introducing a new GETS mainframe provider 

mainframeGTA announced this summer it awarded a contract to Atos to provide GETS mainframe services to customers. That signaled a pending change in mainframe service providers, and it set in motion a dedicated transition team. Their charge: Make it happen without disrupting the mainframe services Georgia agencies rely on.

It's a transition in and a transition out. Atos prepares to step in as incumbent IBM readies to wrap up its GETS mainframe service provision. Part of the challenge is creating assurance with agencies that understanding of their specific mainframe needs won't be lost in the shuffle.

The transition team is making a high priority of effective knowledge transfer between service providers. Plus, they're meeting regularly with a group of agency mainframe focals. That key group will be kept aware of mainframe transition progress as all parties work toward a December 1, 2017, target date for transition of service to Atos. 

Even as Atos takes the wheel in the next several months, mainframe processing will continue at the state's North Atlanta Data Center. Storage and virtual tape systems will be updated there, and a backup mainframe environment will be established at an Austin, Texas, data center. A bit farther down the line, mainframe hardware will be refreshed and sized to fit evolving GETS needs.
A shift from one GETS service provider to another doesn't happen with the flip of a switch. It takes careful coordination among participants including state agencies, GETS program managers, and service providers, incoming and outgoing. GTA appreciates IBM's management of mainframe services since the beginning of the GETS program and the IBM team's invaluable engagement in the transition process.  
Digital Government Summit helps keep pace with change    

In a fast-changing world, you have to keep learning or risk getting left behind. If you're thinking it was hard enough just learning what got you to this point, you might not be confident you can keep pace and keep growing. Georgia Digital Government Summit keynote speaker Bronkar Lee can help. He's an expert in turning information into ability. He'll explain his unique learning system in a presentation titled Hacking the Learning Curve planned for the 2017 summit in Atlanta later this fall .
The Digital Government Summit keys on new technologies and trends and their implications for government. This year's topics include: digital government services, innovation and leadership, cybersecurity, collaboration, data and analytics, cloud services, citizen engagement and more.
State and local government agencies will be recognized again this year for their technology achievements with the presentation of the 2017 Georgia  Technology Innovation Showcase awards. And, leading technology companies will exhibit their latest products and services.
This annual summit for both IT and business leaders from state and local governments will take place October 30 (all day) and 31 (until noon) at the Westin Buckhead hotel in Atlanta. Registration is $25 for public-sector employees.
Register online and view the full agenda at the summit website.
Steeling home in Augusta: Georgia Cyber Center rises    
It may be bare ground today. But look away and look back over the coming weeks, and you'll see big changes at the Augusta site soon to be home to the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center .
Steel is to be erected beginning in September as the new   
167,000-square-foot state-owned facility takes tangible form. From there it's an up-tempo march toward a planned July 2018 opening.

The Georgia Cyber Center will promote modernization in cybersecurity technology through education, training, and practical applications. It will serve as an incubator for cybersecurity start-ups and will push research and development. It will tap into Georgia's university system and technical college system in its aim to bolster workforce development. A cyber range will allow defense testing and skills development. Plus, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will operate a cybercrime lab at the facility
The center will enjoy proximity to Augusta's Fort Gordon, home to the U.S. Army Cyber Command, the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, and the National Security Agency.

Key partners in the center include Augusta University, Technical College System of Georgia, City of Augusta, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, University System of Georgia, and other federal and leading private sector organizations.

  • The new Georgia Gateway benefits eligibility system is now statewide. DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett migrated at the start of September, joining all other Georgia counties newly using the system. Georgia Gateway is 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 system brings improvements for assistance program workers, recipients, and applicants. It expedites eligibility and enrollment processes, introduces self-service access, and secures new protection against waste and fraud. Georgia's Department of Human Services led the project, which also involved the departments of Community Health, Public Health, and Early Care and Learning.
  • Even as the GETS program readies to incorporate a new mainframe services provider (see article above), re-procurement of other computing and print services continues for the state's shared IT services program. GTA (in collaboration with agencies served via GETS) will soon re-procure end user computing services, server services, and print-to-mail services. All of these services are now provided through IBM under an agreement approaching its contracted expiration in the months ahead.
  • Golfers, get ready for the sixth annual GTA Charitable Contributions Golf Tournament scheduled Monday, October 9 (Columbus Day holiday). GTA and the tournament's title sponsor NTT Data encourage you to register now via the tournament website. It's easy and affordable. Discounts are available for early registration and for teams. You can register a foursome, or sign up individually and be teamed with some new golfing friends. 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.

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