As infrastructure agreement ends, Georgia looks toward next steps for IT

In preparation of the state's agreement ending with IBM next year, Georgia probes the market.

As Georgia’s IT infrastructure agreement nears its conclusion next June, the state considers its future prospects.

Dean Johnson, Georgia Technology Authority’s (GTA) chief operating officer, explained that the agency has been working on a new way to “re-compete” the state’s infrastructure services. The contract rebid will include RFPs for servers, end-user computing, mainframes and print.

GTA outsourced its IT management for several years and Johnson said that their main priority is to continue delivering on the needs of the state customer through this transition.

“I think that we have a lot of moving parts,” Johnson said, “and I think that the biggest challenge for us right now is managing all those moving parts.”

Johnson pointed to the agreement the state has with management consulting firm Capgemini as an example of how the outsourced IT management model can work — assisting with service integration, juggling the state’s many “moving parts,” and bringing together the state’s various vendors and services.

Effective management of those different vendors and services directly correlates with good services for the citizen, Johnson said.

“We’re really focused on growing our business because we believe that if we can get more consumers consuming our services then everyone wins,” he said. “We have more volume thereby bringing about more economies in scale.”

In addition to preparing for the end of the infrastructure agreement, Georgia has also been working to bolster cybersecurity. The state runs training simulations like mock phishing attacks to prepare their users and encourage them to make smart decisions at work.

“I think right now we’ve done [a] really good job over the last eight years of improving our security profile in the state of Georgia,” Johnson said. “Obviously nothing is perfect, nothing is bulletproof, but at the end of the day we think our borders are fairly secure and we have a lot of security tools in place today.”

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