Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) Update

AnchorVolume 8, Issue No. 2                                                                                               Mar-Apr, 2016 

Looking for good ideas?
Look into IT Showcase Awards

Finding good ideas and sharing them -- that's one of the strengths of being able to look across the state's IT landscape.  Among the ways we do that, the annual Technology Innovation Showcase Awards rank as a favorite. 
When we get together later this year for the Georgia Digital Government Summit, we'll once again present awards for innovative Georgia government technology efforts making a difference for Georgians.  Paparazzi won't hound us, and there are no celebrity after parties (that I know of). Still, the awards honor fine work by our state IT colleagues, and they broadcast ideas we can all learn from, and even imitate.
Now's the time to submit entries, and we want to hear about your successes: New ways, enabled by technology, you're serving constituents; expanded access to services or enhancements to these services; novel uses of data, or cross-agency initiatives. Using these and other project categories, tell us about the innovative uses of technology that have helped propel your agency's business. 
This marks the fifth consecutive year GTA has sponsored the Showcase.  We believe in the value of this awards program, and we hear consistently positive feedback from agencies and state entities -- and not just the winners.  I think we've all come to recognize the learning opportunities brought by the Showcase.  It's truly a chance to get acquainted with and build on what has worked for others as you tackle your own agency's challenges.
As in years past, projects submitted for the Showcase will also be considered for submission elsewhere to gain further recognition.  That could include the State IT Recognition Awards presented by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and the Excalibur Awards by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), among others.  We also consider Showcase honorees for inclusion in Georgia's Annual State IT Report.
See full details about submitting your award entry, including the online submission form, on the GTA website.  We look forward to hearing from you by March 18th.
Thank you for your ongoing support.

Calvin Rhodes
State Chief Information Officer
GTA Executive Director
Annual State IT Report 2015 shows IT investment grows
When you're deep in the work, it's hard to gauge progress.  You have to stand back to get the big picture. That big-picture view is just what the Annual State IT Report offers for IT in Georgia state government.
The FY 2015 report, published in late January, indicates the state has made significant progress in strengthening and securing the IT systems and processes state agencies rely on to serve Georgians. Beyond the steps taken to address cyber security and guard the state against cyber criminals, the report looks at IT expenditures and the successful multi-year effort to modernize technology infrastructure and services. That IT transformation, completed soon after the close of FY 2015, has helped enhance cyber security in the core group of agencies served by the GETS program.  It has laid the groundwork for taking further advantage of new and increasingly innovative technologies (e.g., an emerging generation of cloud services).
The report indicates state agencies spent at least $638 million on IT infrastructure services, network services, and application development and support in FY 2015.  That's $22 million more than reported for FY 2014.  The difference is attributable to greater accuracy in capturing data from agencies, especially related to applications. Six executive branch agencies did not report their IT expenditures, and the reporting requirement does not apply to agencies under the authority of constitutional officers or certain state entities with large IT budgets. Nevertheless, the IT expenditure data offer insights into a critical area of state government spending.
To see the full report, visit the Annual State IT Report website.

Universal is the standard
for state websites' accessibility

Government has a special responsibility to make its services available to everyone -- people with disabilities, most certainly included.  Couple that with government services increasingly made available online, and universal accessibility of its websites becomes government's obligation.
GTA's GeorgiaGov Interactive team made universal accessibility a top priority in 2015.  The team manages the state's web portal,, and provides the publishing platform and design services supporting 80 state agency websites. The team just completed an Accessible Platform Initiative, which means that and each of those 80 websites now meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.  WCAG are the standards the U.S. Department of Justice uses to gauge compliance with accessibility requirements.
What does compliance look like?  Minimizing obstacles that get in the way of someone accessing website content because of such disabilities as:
  • vision challenges, including blindness, low vision and color blindness
  • hearing loss
  • motor control challenges
  • cognition challenges (e.g., a learning disability)
From July 2015 to January 2016 the GeorgiaGov Interactive team addressed all such obstacles.  They introduced more descriptive wording for hyperlinks (fewer "click here" or "click this link" tags) and improved tab visibility.  They ensured greater color contrast and font legibility. They made it easier to access online content using a screen reader, which converts text to speech.
GTA's GeorgiaGov Interactive team had help from the AMAC Accessibility Solutions and Research Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  Georgia Tech's AMAC provided comprehensive reports about the accessibility of and state agency websites to better guide attention to accessibility improvement opportunities.

GTA's Learning Center introduces new free e-training

Three additional training segments are now available through the GTA Learning Center, GTA's learning management system. As with most other Learning Center training, these sessions are offered free of charge to state of Georgia agency employees.
  • Security Risk Management looks at requirements for developing and maintaining an agency information security program. It builds on the six-step National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Risk Management Framework (RMF).
  • Cyber Security Traffic Light Protocol (TLP) examines this system for assessing how information is disseminated within an organization or externally to cyber partners.
  • Overview of Building Project Relationships introduces key elements of relationship building with a focus on developing and maintaining project-centered relationships.
Use the GTA Learning Center to access these e-learning segments and other training on information security, project management and more. First-time users will need to submit an access request form to get started.
Contact the GTA Training Team at for more information.

  • GTA is fielding input from IT service providers in response to a request for qualified contractors it published in mid-December 2015.  Those providers are providing information about IT market offerings as an early stage of an ongoing re-procurement of GETS infrastructure services (servers, storage, end user computing, mainframe, print).  The RFQC will also involve qualification of providers that would continue in discussion in further stages of the procurement.  State agencies' representatives are closely engaged with GTA in reviewing RFQC input.


  • GETS multisourcing service integrator Capgemini has updated voice menu options heard by callers to the GETS Service Desk, assigning option one to self-service password resets.  Choosing this option allows callers to use a voice recognition option for resets or account unlocks without needing help from a Service Desk agent. 

    Capgemini reintroduced the Password Reset Automation Service (PRAS) tool for the GETS community in early 2016.  PRAS allows registered users to reset passwords online using the web option or by phone using the voice recognition option.  These convenient self-service paths apply to network passwords (the one used to sign on to your computer) and/or GETS Portal passwords.


  • Later this month GETS IT leaders are to be surveyed to gauge their satisfaction with various GETS program provisions.  This marks an early stage of a GETS Customer Experience Assessment Program annual surveying cycle.  GETS agency business leaders and GETS internal team members are among other audiences to be surveyed as the year progresses and annually thereafter.  The Customer Experience program provides multiple means of structured input from those served by GETS to monitor how well their needs are met, and then initiation of improvement efforts.

In This Issue
Quick Links

mailing list