Georgia agencies are acclimating to higher altitudes. Through a GTA-led migration prioritized by the Governor’s Office, agencies are moving to cloud computing. It brings them new flexibility and autonomy and encourages development of new cloud-related skills among agency IT staff. The ongoing shift to cloud is prominent among technology-enabled efforts highlighted in this Annual State IT Report, all of them aimed ultimately at better serving the citizens of Georgia.
The innovative approaches and new capabilities allowed by cloud computing grab headlines. But none of it lessens Georgia’s continuing emphasis on what is the perennial top concern in the information technology world – cybersecurity. Keeping state systems and data safe and secure is a ceaseless task. It’s made even more complex by increasingly sophisticated attacks, and complicated networks serving numerous locations and many remote state workers, among other factors. The state continues to bolster defenses through security policies, services and tools, and by cultivating information sharing across varied governmental cyber defenders. The Cybersecurity section of this report outlines these efforts.
GTA once again coordinated with the Georgia National Guard and the Georgia Cyber Center to conduct a live-action cybersecurity exercise. This fourth annual Cyber Dawg event drew security professionals from Georgia agencies to the Cyber Center in Augusta to sharpen their skills in a simulated ransomware attack. Information on Cyber Dawg can be found in the Cybersecurity section of this report.
GTA continues to advance information technology governance and strategic planning for the state. Strategic planning efforts included the annual GTA-hosted Technology/Strategy Summit, held virtually in 2022. Summit details can be found in the Information Technology Vision and Strategy section.
Georgia Broadband Program’s mission is to promote the expansion and buildout of high-speed broadband to all Georgians. Over the last year, the state made meaningful strides to expand broadband access, including designating significant funding for broadband infrastructure deployment. This funding will help support deploying broadband networks to reach previously unserved locations. Details on program status and accomplishments can be found in Georgia's Approach to Broadband section of the report.
Tracking IT expenditures is among GTA’s statutory responsibilities. In FY 2022, agencies reported spending $697 million on IT infrastructure services, network services, application development and support, and related activities. The Information Technology Investment section explores these expenditures and how the state manages its technology investments. Spending details also appear in the Appendix.
As mentioned above, the successful implementation of Georgia’s cloud-first approach for IT services has been central to GTA’s Technology Services in the past year. Georgia shifted from a largely on-premises model to a cloud-based model for hosting technology services. This ongoing effort is described in the Technology Services section of the report.
Also referenced in the Technology Services section is the GTA Direct program, which offers Georgia agencies, local governments, colleges and universities, and boards of education quick access to a range of IT services from leading service providers pre-qualified by GTA.
The Office of Digital Services Georgia (DSGa) manages GovHub, the state’s digital platform which is home to dozens of state agency websites. As the state’s official web-publishing platform, GovHub allows a consistent online experience for citizens seeking state government services and information. And it facilitates the state’s digital compliance policy for ensuring accessibility. It serves as a single source of consistent and accurate information across all of the state’s digital communication channels. Using GovHub capabilities, DSGa helps state agencies make essential information available and accessible to Georgians. More broadly, DSGa manages digital strategy for agencies and elected officials to cultivate an effective digital presence for the state of Georgia. Read more in the Digital Services Georgia section of the report.
The state’s bold modernization of its IT enterprise over the past decade and more have cemented a national reputation for Georgia as a leader in using technology to transform government operations. Several recent honors are highlighted in the section titled Georgia’s Information Technology Excellence. Georgia again earned a grade of A, the highest possible, in the closely watched Digital States Survey which evaluates states’ use of technology. It’s the third consecutive time the survey identifies Georgia as a top state in its use of IT.
Innovative technology projects across agencies are strengthening Georgia government’s service to constituents. Noteworthy examples include the following, with details in Information Technology Excellence section of the report.
- The Georgia Department of Drivers Services modernized its driver’s license system, replacing what had been a complex legacy software system. The new DRIVES system can be readily supported by internal staff and makes the licensing process easier for Georgians.
- Aiming to decrease wait times and lines at Hartsfield-Jackson airport parking deck entrances and exits, the State Road and Tollway Authority instituted the Peach Pass Plus payment alternative. No parking ticket or physical credit card is needed – just a Peach Pass Plus. And it’s touch-free.
- The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) launched a platform called eCampus that allows students to register for online courses offered by any of the 22 TCSG institution. The initiative provides access to programs and courses that may not be available at students’ home technical college, while still giving them the personalized experience and support of on-campus enrollment.
As the contents of this report demonstrate, Georgia agencies remain committed to and engaged in taking full advantage of technology to help make government more accessible, responsive, accountable, and secure. GTA shares their commitment and is proud to collaborate with them in the effort.