Georgia Annual State IT Report FY 2022

From the State Chief Information Officer

Across state government, technology is an enabler. Everything from tax collection to driver’s licensing, education, remote work and more are supported by information technology (IT). It’s an engine of innovation and service delivery improvement. But critics (or even realists) might also point out correctly, IT produces its own set of challenges.

As the state’s central IT agency, we at the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) must be concerned with both sides of the technology coin. The positive, like innovation and efficiency, as well as the challenges, like cybersecurity threats. This is the same for all agencies. Whether the Department of Labor, Agriculture, or Pardons and Paroles, we all juggle this mix every day.

None of us must do it alone. Frankly, the job is too big for any single entity. GTA champions shared resources across the state’s technology enterprise. Our collaboration with a broad range of state agencies has allowed impressive progress in strengthening IT capabilities of Georgia’s state government.

There’s enormous potential to improve citizen services. That’s key to technology’s appeal. On the modernization front, the Governor’s Office in 2022 prioritized moving agency applications and systems to cloud computing environments. GTA leads that migration. Some agencies are now operating in the cloud, and others are on the way. It’s transformative, and it can come with cost-savings too.

Needs don’t stop at cloud, of course, and GTA works to open the range of its IT services to more agencies. Our new strike team connects agencies with GTA component teams who can answer business needs with the best-suited technologies. We also have hands in developing state-wide broadband, along with the Department of Community Affairs and others. Broadband service expansion in Georgia continues to make news as it empowers communities through IT.

The positives lift every state entity’s boat, and the rising tide also brings shared responsibility for technology challenges – cybersecurity in particular. GTA sets statewide security policies and practices through its Office of Information Security and makes available security awareness training for agency staff. We also partner with the Georgia Cyber Center to host an annual live-fire cybersecurity exercise called Cyber Dawg where agency security professionals sharpen skills.

It's a lot to manage, and by many measures, Georgia is managing well. Our state earned an A grade, the highest possible, in the closely watched Digital States Survey in 2022. We’re one of only six states to do so. None of us suggests that means we can relax. Agencies continue to innovate and improve, as was plain from the agency IT project entries in this year’s Technology Innovation Showcase sponsored annually by GTA.

The Annual State IT Report offered here by GTA highlights how Georgia government harnesses the transformative power of technology. I think you’ll be encouraged by what you read.

Shawnzia Thomas