Excerpt from the Article:
The Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) manages the delivery of IT infrastructure and managed network services to 1,300 state and local government entities across the state of Georgia. GTA promotes an enterprise approach to managing technology services by establishing statewide policies, standards and guidelines based on industry best practices and federal requirements. GTA develops and manages the state’s official website, which provides information and services from more than 115 state agencies and links to city and county government Websites.
Dean Johnson is the Chief Operating Officer for the GTA. Johnson has co-led the move to privatize infrastructure and managed network services for the state of Georgia since 2008. He is currently leading an effort to evolve the current operating and service delivery models to take full advantage of the strong foundation built over the past six years and apply lessons learned along with today’s industry best practices in outsourcing. CIO Insight contributor Peter High discusses with Johnson how he helped save the state $181 million, how he assisted in laying the groundwork for privatizing certain IT services and his take on big data initiatives.
CIO Insight: How do you work with the CIOs in various jurisdictions across the state?
Dean Johnson: GTA has established several councils and forums, structured specifically to invite CIOs’ input, engage in discussion about solutions and offer information about available services. We meet regularly with agency CIOs and have found that building and maintaining positive working relationships with the customers we serve and understanding their business needs to be one of the keys to our success.
CIO Insight: You also helped spearhead the creation of Georgia Enterprise Technology Services, saving the state $181 million in the process. What was the idea behind this?
Johnson: A comprehensive assessment by an independent third party in 2007 documented alarming shortcomings in the state’s ability to comply with IT best practices, refresh aging equipment and software, and address growing threats from hackers and cyber-criminals. In addition, GTA and other state agencies found themselves unable to compete with the private sector in recruiting and retaining knowledgeable and experienced technicians. The third-party assessment recommended outsourcing daily operations to private-sector service providers.
GTA went to the market in 2008 to source IT infrastructure services and managed network services on behalf of the state of Georgia. The Georgia Enterprise Technology Services (GETS) program sought to transform the state’s IT operations into a modern day, well-run IT enterprise by turning to private-sector leaders in technology service delivery.
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