Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) Update

AnchorVolume 8, Issue No. 3                                                                                               May-Jun, 2016 

Constant collaboration a must
to thrive in Digital Age

In state government, just like in business settings, we're being asked to move faster, and be more agile and innovative. Effective use of technology can give us the edge we need to succeed. If we want to get the fullest return from technology investments (and we all do), we can't afford to under estimate the power of collaboration between IT and "the business." It's critical. And not just for the duration of some big technology project. Constant collaboration should be our goal.
That contention anchors the GTA-hosted Business/IT Partnership Summit 2016 coming up May 9th. We've titled the event, IT and "The Business": Who's Supporting Who? In the Digital Age, it's not as simple a question as it might seem.
It's long been true that IT supports business functions. Now increasingly, technology becomes inseparable from the way business is conducted. To ensure any business or government agency stays on its game, the IT and business sides of the house have to work well together. Both have to stay engaged and involved.
At the summit we'll explore the cross-functional collaboration that helps organizations thrive. Content is tailored for public-sector business leaders and IT leaders, with information presented in separate and complementary tracks. The business tracks focus on business' support of its technology investments through strategic planning, procurement and portfolio management, while the IT track for CIOs, information security officers and technical leads centers on IT security. All attendees will come together for shared keynote presentations.
State government and industry experts will share insights on aspects of business/IT collaboration they've seen make a real difference in business outcomes. We'll be helped by several companies who will contribute their expertise on the topic tracks. Take a look at the summit web page for details of the topics, speakers and the day's agenda.
Some of you I'll see on the 9th, and I look forward to your active participation. And whether you attend this Partnership Summit or a subsequent GTA-hosted event, I appreciate your commitment to collaboration for business success - not just for a day, but every day.
Thank you for your ongoing support.

Calvin Rhodes
State Chief Information Officer
GTA Executive Director
Cyber Storm V tests agencies' readiness for cyber attack
No one argues it - cyber risks and threats are only increasing. And headlines may leave you resigned to expect it's not if, but when cyber security threats will get the upper hand.
The goal becomes limiting the impact and responding quickly. One sure way to improve your preparedness is to practice. With that in mind, several Georgia agencies participated in March in Cyber Storm V, the latest in a series of national cyber security exercises coordinated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The event was designed to strengthen information-sharing partnerships among federal, state, local, international and private-sector partners. More than 1,000 participants across 10 states and other critical infrastructure communities took part in the three-day live exercise. Using a simulated malware attack scenario with widespread state system failures and network outages, Cyber Storm V provided a safe environment for exercising policies, processes, and procedures for identifying and responding to a multi-sector cyber attack targeting critical infrastructure.
Participants followed each step in their response plans as if the incident were real, making note of any gaps and areas needing improvement. Georgia's participation included several state agencies, a local government and a private-sector health care provider. GTA (along with GETS program IT service providers Capgemini, IBM, AT&T and Dell) worked with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security and the Fusion Center. The Georgia Department of Defense provided observers to help assess performance.
Plans are already under way for another exercise in 2017.

New cable and wiring options show expanded choice in GETS

The cable and wiring side of IT work has some in common with plumbing, and not just because voice and data cables run behind walls. For many technology services, wherever you want them to be available, you need the right connections in place. Like water and plumbing, this is a part of the job you want to get right.
Cable and wiring literally helps guide your technology opportunities. So it's significant that expanded options for cable and wiring services are now available through the GETS program.
Customers can now choose from multiple GETS-qualified cable and wiring providers when designing and bidding cable and wiring projects. Those include AT&T, Core Technologies and GC&E Systems, Inc. The expanded choices should translate into competitive pressure among qualified vendors to provide the best suited service, on a timely schedule, and at a competitive cost - all benefiting agencies served by GETS.
The new cable and wiring contracts and the options they allow illustrate a recent phase of evolving the flexible GETS shared service delivery platform. They are part of an ongoing campaign by GTA (in coordination with its GETS service provider partners) to more nimbly deliver IT services that best meet the changing business needs of state agencies.  That work also promotes more readily incorporating innovation where it serves the interests of the state's IT enterprise.

  • GTA, along with GETS agency stakeholders, prepare to continue discussion with candidate service providers in the ongoing re-procurement of GETS infrastructure services. Through responses to a request for qualified contractors, companies have expressed interest in providing infrastructure services (servers, storage, end user computing, mainframe, print) the state currently receives via IBM under a contract set to expire in 2017. Candidate providers have been notified of their opportunity to participate in a subsequent round of the RFQC where the evaluation team will review candidates' service offerings in greater depth to gauge those best suited to the state's IT enterprise. This rebid is part of GTA's broader Services Integration Initiative, aimed at promoting a GETS service delivery model tuned and ready to introduce innovative services to meet agencies' changing business needs. 


  • GTA has received entries for its fifth annual Technology Innovation Showcase Awards that leave no doubt, state government continues to make innovative use of technology to propel agencies' business and better serve Georgians.  An evaluation panel is reviewing submissions in categories including expanded access to services, service enhancements, novel uses of data and cross-agency initiatives that harness the power of technology.  For each entry, the panel will consider the level of innovation in addressing a business challenge and the significance of the project to improving operating efficiency, saving money and enhancing service delivery.  Projects selected will be honored at the Georgia Digital Government Summit in Atlanta later this year.

    Showcase projects will also be considered for submission for other awards including the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) 2016 State IT Recognition Awards, the Technology Association of Georgia Excalibur Awards, and others.
  • Calvin Rhodes, State CIO and GTA Executive Director, has been named one of the nation's Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of 2016 by Government Technology magazine. Recipients of this year's awards were chosen based on their accomplishments in using technology to improve government operations and help the public sector better serve citizens.

    Government Technology described Georgia as one of the few states that has outsourced IT infrastructure, networking and services, approaching technology as a business that requires top-flight management and leadership. They noted that Calvin "mastered the art of running IT as a business" during his private-sector career before joining Georgia government in 2011. They went on to say Calvin has led completion of a major modernization of state IT.  He has helped build a more robust, integrated IT services operation in Georgia -- achievements Calvin credits to the fine work of GTA, as well as to agency partnership

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