Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) Update

AnchorVolume 10, Issue No. 5                                                                                               Sep-Oct, 2018   

Georgia extends success streak at NASCIO IT awards 
We've set a high standard for ourselves. In recent years Georgia has consistently placed government t echnology projects among those honored by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). A growing list of Georgia projects have been honorees in NASCIO's annual State IT Recognition Awards. Just last year we had a first-place award and two other projects named finalists, and I'm proud to share that we're again among the honorees.
For the 30th annual NASCIO awards in 2018, Georgia Gateway - one of the largest, most expensive, and most technically challenging projects in our state's history - is one of three finalists in the category of cross-boundary collaboration and partnerships. The first-place winner will be announced at NASCIO's national conference in October in San Diego.

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. It also ensures compliance with federal requirements.


It's no exaggeration to say Georgia Gateway is making a positive difference for Georgians by improving how they obtain needed services and information. That resonated with NASCIO judges, I'm sure. My congratulations to Georgia's Department of Human Services which led the project, as well as key contributors including the departments of Community Health, Public Health, and Early Care and Learning. Their innovative IT work is keeping Georgia in the national eye.

Speaking of technology-driven successes, the 2018 Technology Innovation Showcase honorees will be recognized later this month at the Georgia Digital Government Summit. The showcase highlights state and local government agencies in Georgia that make innovative use of technology to address business challenges. As showcase sponsor, GTA is pleased to recognize these stellar projects as a way of spreading ideas, experiences and lessons learned.  
Don't miss the Georgia Digital Government Summit coming up September 20-21 here in Atlanta. The summit's organizing committee has put together another solid program (see summit article below), and I encourage you to register and attend. Every 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 look forward to seeing you there.
Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Calvin Rhodes
State Chief Information Officer
GTA Executive Director
GOVTalks to emphasize design elements of web presence   

At its GOVTalks conference on September 13, GTA's Digital Services Georgia (DSGa) team will discuss key details of the project under way to transform the design, branding, and capabilities of the state's enterprise web-publishing platform and digital presence. Planned changes will provide greater flexibility for content and design, and this edition of GOVTalks will prepare state agencies to take full advantage. Exciting possibilities are in store for the more than 85 state agency websites hosted on the platform .  
Chief D GOVTalks banner igit al Officer Nikhil Deshpande, Director of Product Kendra Skeene, Senior Project Manager Donna Sumner, other members of the DSGa team, and representatives from IDEO, an international design firm, will reveal the design direction and platform features for state websites. They'll also share plans and timelines for migrating websites to the redesigned platform, including steps website content managers will need to take to prepare.
The session is geared toward team members responsible for their agency's website or web applications. The September 13 meeting runs 10:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., in the 20th floor conference room of the west tower of the Twin Towers building. Lunch is provided. Register today.
This marks the 11th edition of GOVTalks, a conference series now in its fifth year. Eighty-two people from 34 agencies participated in the last session centered on the future of websites.  
Digital Government Summit encourages innovation     

Not that long ago, technology in a school classroom might've meant two desktop computer stations and a slow internet connection. These days instructors have a dizzying number of options. So, what works? When is it too much?
Georgia Digital Government Summit keynote speaker Michael Hakkarinen, an instructional technology specialist, helps teachers capitalize on tools like Mac Tools, Google Apps for Educators, iPads and more to engage students. He'll describe the disruptive opportunities in a presentation titled Finding Balance in Our Digitally Evolving World at the 2018 summit in Atlanta later this month .
The Digital Government Summit keys on new technologies and trends and encourages innovation in government. This year's topics include:
  • Artificial Intelligence: What It Means for Government
  • Georgia Cyber Center - It's Live!
  • Active Shooter Scenarios
  • Maintaining Control in the Cloud
  • Resource Sharing Successes
  • Georgia's Smart Program
  • Reinventing the Customer Experience
  • Data Privacy Strategies
  • Smart Cities and the Evolution of Transportation
Again this year, state and local government agencies will be recognized for their technology achievements with the presentation of the 2018 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 September 20 (all day) and 21 (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.
Georgia Cyber Center buzzes with arrival of students     
With the recent start of a new academic year, students from Augusta University and Augusta Technical College are filling classrooms and labs at the newly opened Georgia Cyber Center. These are spaces designed to encourage learning, innovation and collaboration. Already students are putting them to good use, eager to gain cybersecurity skills and experience employers are after.
Adjacent to the center's Hull McKnight Building (opened in July), a twin structure is fast taking shape. Scheduled to open its doors in December, the Shaffer MacCartney Building will become the newest addition to the Nathan Deal Campus for Innovation. The exterior of that second building is nearly complete. Interior framing is under way, and drywall is being installed. GTA continues to oversee construction and to coordinate the expanding circle of partner organizations active in the Cyber Center.
Georgia Cyber Center Augusta  
Building two (left rear in photo) will include additional space for lease by private sector partners and more space for innovation and growth of startup companies. With much of the first building devoted to education and training, the second building will become the forum for interaction with the private sector. From that will grow fellowships, internships and co-op program opportunities coordinated by Augusta University and Augusta Technical College.
Innovation space remains pivotal to the Cyber Center. It is to be central among amenities and resources accessible to cybersecurity companies that lease space in the center. Designers of the Augusta center's innovation space will incorporate some of the most effective elements of other innovation hubs in creative new combinations.

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, other federal entities, and leading private sector organizations.
Training available to agency information security personnel 
Day-to-day cybersecurity work may not be half as glamorous as Hollywood's version of it. But it's every bit as essential as news reports of security breaches suggest. A clear step toward readiness is thorough, frequent training. 
Certified Information Systems Security Officer training will take place November 5-9, 2018, at the Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta. Intended for information security personnel in Georgia state agencies, this training covers a range of industry best practices, as well as knowledge and skills expected of an information security manager. For more information, visit or contact Sarah Rees at
In addition, Cybersecurity Workforce Academy courses for FY 2019 have been announced:
  • Introduction and Basic Cybersecurity 101:
    August 22, 2018
  • Role and Responsibilities of an ISO in the Public Sector: September 12, 2018
  • Cybersecurity and IT Strategic Planning:
    October 17, 2018
  • Cybersecurity Policy Management
    November 14, 2018
  • Cyber Incident Management:
    February 12, 2019
  • IT and Information Security Risk Management:
    March 13, 2019
  • Security Awareness, Training, Education, and Professional Development: April 17, 2019
  • Continuity of Operations Planning Cyber Resilience:
    May 14, 2019
Registration for these courses is done via the GTA Learning Center.
Launched by GTA in 2017, the Georgia Cybersecurity Workforce Academy is initially providing cybersecurity awareness, training, and education to information security officers in Georgia state agencies. Beginning in 2019, courses will also be open to local governments in Georgia.    
The academy is a key component of Governor Deal's initiative for responding to the growing threats from cyber criminals, and its establishment is one of the recommendations from the Senate Study Committee on Data, Security, and Privacy.
Questions can be emailed to GTA's Office of Information Security at

  • Procurement of GETS computing services continues with work to secure managed security services. The intent is to enhance security services provided already to the GETS community, ensuring access to specialized resources, advanced technology and dedicated support. Potential additions include a centralized security operations center (SOC); a governance, risk management and compliance (GRCT) capability; and, a security incident and event management (SIEM) function. GTA anticipates awarding a contract before the close of 2018.
  • A GETS disaster recovery exercise completed in late August helps ensure continued strength of DR capabilities for the state's IT enterprise, as well as compliance with the state's DR program standards. Again this year a number of GETS agencies participated, in close coordination with GTA and service providers IBM, AT&T and Atos, as well as GETS services integrator Capgemini.


  • GTA's GETS Ready program now has expanded IT service offerings that include telecommunications, managed security, desktop, server and storage, and mainframe services. The program provides IT services through existing state contracts with market-leading providers GTA has qualified. Services are available to Georgia agencies, local government, colleges and universities, and boards of education.


  • GETS agencies' computer users now have a new self-service option for network password resets and unlocks. The newly introduced Xpress Password Reset tool allows them a quick and easy way to reset their network password or unlock their account without having to call the GETS Service Desk for help. GETS services integrator Capgemini, in coordination with GTA, has deployed Xpress to GETS agencies over the summer months and expects to wrap up the rollout in September. 
  • Golfers, show off your swing at the seventh annual GTA Charitable Contributions Golf Tournament scheduled Monday, October 8 (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 2018 tournament at beautiful Stone Mountain Park. The event benefits the State Charitable Contributions Program, which supports hundreds of charitable organizations providing services across Georgia.

In This Issue
Quick Links

mailing list