Information Technology Vision and Strategy
Georgia’s vision for information and communications technology is captured in the Georgia Enterprise IT Strategic Plan 2025, the latest update to the state’s assessment of issues influencing which technology solutions agencies will deploy in the years ahead. The plan was published in May 2017 with an updated edition published in FY 2022. The updated vision is accessible on the IT Strategic Plan webpage.
The state reviewed its technology vision this year, given the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on normal business operation. In most cases, Georgia’s response to the pandemic has not affected the long-term view of how technology will enable strategic objectives. However, it has shifted priorities and led to achieving some objectives earlier than expected. These achievements resulted from compressing schedules for high-priority technologies, and no significant delays in any objectives are anticipated. A full review of the Enterprise IT Strategic Plan is scheduled for spring 2022.
The plan is intended to aid Georgia government leaders in making informed technology decisions. It defines IT focus areas and goals and sets the technology direction for the state’s IT enterprise.
The Enterprise IT Strategic Plan does not replace the business-oriented strategic plans of individual state agencies but provides a look ahead to help them align their technology with the direction established for the state’s IT enterprise.
In developing and maintaining the state’s IT vision, GTA collaborates with technology leaders throughout Georgia state agencies to understand their business priorities and gathers insights from other states and the private sector to leverage proven technologies. This work identified the following long-term IT priorities:
- Ensuring cybersecurity for Georgia’s agencies, citizens, and businesses
- Managing a growing pool of data to support state decision makers
- Taking advantage of proven technologies to improve interactions between government agencies and constituents
- Evolving the portfolio of shared technology services to ensure agency access to the best services at competitive prices
- Partnering with the private sector to bring the latest innovative technologies to bear on the state’s business problems
Information Technology Governance Continuously Improved
GTA continues to advance its information technology governance processes by annually assessing the effectiveness and strategic alignment of the existing Policies, Standards and Guidelines (PSG) exemption process.
The primary goals of the PSG exemption process are to assure that investments in IT generate business value, while mitigating the risks that are associated with IT implementations. Recent revisions to the PSG process now require agencies to detail the implementation, operating, and maintenance costs that would be incurred during the first three years of the solution lifecycle.
This requirement provides agencies and their leadership with a true cost of ownership and detailed insight to known and unknown risks that may exist. The process also provides valuable data to the enterprise on how to position existing cloud brokerage offerings now available through GTA. The cloud brokerage offerings, along with the revised PSG exemption process, allow state agencies to make IT decisions with a clear understanding of the associated risks and how GTA can assist in mitigating them.
The goal of IT strategic planning is to help agencies make better use of technologies that support their business needs and the Governor’s vision for Georgia. During FY 2020, agencies aligned their IT strategies with Governor Kemp’s stated initiatives and their underlying priorities:
- Make Georgia number one for small business
- Reform state government
- Strengthen rural Georgia
- Put Georgians first
The IT strategy cycle is a framework for supporting Georgia agencies in their effective and efficient use of technology to achieve the Governor’s vision. A collaborative environment where agencies recognize shared objectives and work together to achieve greater enterprise benefits is key to success. GTA serves as a facilitator in identifying common needs, as a technology guide in identifying technology-enabled business strategies that have proven successful in other organizations, and as an advocate for agency solutions that show promise for the enterprise.
The Strategy Cycle is comprised of the following five components:
Environmental Scan for Technology
Technology scanning is a continuous process of gathering information about how technology may help Georgia state agencies meet their objectives. It identifies what is relevant and shares appropriate findings through periodic reports and presentations. Effective new uses of technology are incorporated into the annual update of the Georgia Enterprise IT Strategic Plan.
GTA relies on numerous sources for information about new business uses of technology, including Gartner, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), and the Center for Digital Government.
In addition, GTA monitors a broad range of publications and participates in professional organizations and national summits, conferences, and symposia targeting the effective application of technology to business problems.
Survey Agency Priorities
GTA places high value on understanding agency business needs and continues to review agency strategic plans, conduct agency surveys, and hold regular meetings with agencies to ensure a clear picture of the business objectives that drive technology needs. In addition to one-on-one meetings with agency leaders, the State Technology Annual Report Register (STARR) is used to conduct an annual IT strategy survey of all agency CIOs or IT directors.
Refresh Enterprise IT Strategy
As mentioned in the opening section, the Georgia Enterprise IT Strategic Plan provides a vision of future technology use and establishes focus areas for the state’s IT enterprise in a multi-year look ahead. It guides agency IT leaders in choosing new technology solutions that align with the state’s enterprise IT vision and direction.
Identify Innovation Opportunities
GTA continues to recognize agency successes in using technology to deliver services in new and better ways. Top innovations are recognized at the annual Georgia Digital Government Summit. Examples of these successes can be found beginning in the section titled Technology Innovation Showcase.
GTA works closely with and supports the Governor’s Office and the Office of Planning and Budget (OPB). GTA works with OPB to leverage technology in support of business process improvements identified each year by OPB. GTA provides leadership in identifying and adopting proven technologies to solve pressing government issues.
Host Technology/Strategy Summit
GTA’s annual Technology/Strategy Summit was held as a virtual event in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit, which features presentations by subject matter experts from leading technology companies, is directed toward both business leaders and technology professionals within state agencies. The agenda for the 2021 summit included a diverse and dynamic group of speakers and panelists who provided in-depth insights as well as actionable and practical tools in cybersecurity, digital disruption, and more.
- Cybersecurity expert John Sileo, CEO of a cyber think tank, shared his cautionary tale about falling victim to cybercrime. He shared his own experience to encourage organizations to make sure their cybersecurity culture is robust enough to stand up to today's widespread remote work, increased reliance on online services, and ever-present cyber threats.
- Daryl Plummer, a Gartner distinguished fellow dug deep into digital disruption during his remarks, and he gave us his top strategic predictions for 2021 and beyond.
- Mark Keith of Merlynn Intelligence Technologies teamed with Emory University professor Dr. Karl Kuhnert to discuss "cloning" human wisdom and using artificial intelligence to create "digital twins" for an organization's key decision makers.
- Greg Sparrow of CompliancePoint shared insights from his wide-ranging cybersecurity work spanning the payment card industry, healthcare, banking, retails, transportation, and even professional sports.
Strategic Planning Survey
GTA continued its annual survey of agency CIOs in 2021 to better understand how agencies depend on IT to meet their strategic objectives. Data from agencies is carefully analyzed and used to inform GTA’s efforts to leverage innovations in a rapidly changing technology environment and ensure better support for state operations. Agency data is also used to update the Georgia Enterprise IT Strategic Plan.
The 2021 IT strategy survey focused on individual agencies’ strategic objectives. It asked agencies to rate the importance of information technology in supporting their activities in the following areas:
- Automating or improving business processes
- Sharing information or data with other agencies
- Improving the security of sensitive information
Respondents from 42 agencies identified more than 200 IT-dependent strategic objectives. The top three uses of technology in enabling agency strategic plans were: process automation, agency data sharing, and improved data security. Responses are summarized in the following bar graph.