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Georgia CTO Steve Nichols Set to Join Gartner Consulting

At the end of the month, longtime Georgia Chief Technology Officer Steve Nichols will step down to take on a new job with Gartner Consulting. His parting advice to fellow CTOs: “Make the most of it while you can.”

Steve Nichols
After serving as Georgia’s chief technology officer (CTO) for 20 years, Steve Nichols announced today that he is ending his tenure with the Georgia Technology Authority on Aug. 31 to take on a new job at Gartner Consulting.

Nichols has led various efforts to modernize the state’s IT infrastructure, including providing executive leadership for Georgia’s official state website,, to looking after 65 state agency websites and 20 constituent-facing web applications.

He also oversees two SharePoint farms hosting internal websites and applications, an enterprise service bus connecting over 40 integration points and GTA’s internal billing systems, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Now, after some self-reflection, Nichols shared that he is looking forward to applying what he’s learned as Georgia’s CTO to help other states achieve their critical priorities in a private-sector capacity.

“The parts of my job I enjoy most are working on new problems, on policy issues, things that cross-cut a lot of states and municipalities,” Nichols said. “I just had sort of reached a point in my career where I’m thinking I can have more leverage on these problems and impact the world outside of the GTA by working across multiple states than just working in Georgia.”

As for finishing out his remaining time with GTA, Nichols highlighted his plans to distribute his responsibilities to ensure that no stone is left unturned.

“It’s remarkable the number of very small responsibilities you can accumulate in 20 years,” Nichols said. “When I went in to talk to my boss, I had a plan with about 70 things on it, including all the things big and small that I have to transition off to somebody, and I’m working through that punch list now.”

While reflecting on these responsibilities, Nichols also shared some of the things he is most proud of achieving as CTO, including working with the GTA team to reach new goals.

“The biggest two things that come to mind were probably the 2009 outsourcing initiative, where we consolidated a lot of the executive branch IT and then shifted that over to some service providers,” Nichols said. “And then maybe the other, which probably isn’t a technology project at all, and I didn’t have much to do with it, but building the cyber center at the end of Gov. [Nathan] Deal’s administration.”

In the end, Nichols said being Georgia’s CTO “has truly been the best job in the world” and advises those in a similar role to take advantage of it.

“I was pretty fortunate to have such a long tenure, but I go to NASCIO every year, and there’s always a lot of turnover, so make the most of it while you can,” he said. “Do as much as you can right now; that would be my advice.”
Katya Diaz is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in global strategic communications from Florida International University.