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No More Walled Garden: Georgia’s New CTO Talks About the Future

A week after taking over as chief technology officer for the Georgia Technology Authority, Dmitry Kagansky shared his vision for the agency and how he hopes to optimize state IT across the board.

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Last week, Government Technology broke the news that Dmitry Kagansky had been named Georgia Technology Authority's new chief technology officer. This week, Kagansky shared what he has in mind for the position and the agency.

Right off the bat, Kagansky said the new job wasn’t necessarily a major change since he and his predecessor, former CTO Steve Nichols, had been talking about it for a while. Rather, it’s more of an expansion of where GTA is going from a technology standpoint and changing the authority’s approach to working with its partners.

“One of the things we’re changing up wholesale is our approach to our customers. We look at all of the agencies in Georgia as our customers, and we’re making a shift to be much more customer-centric,” he said.

The new approach would look at what state agencies need from a resource perspective instead of prescribing options that aren’t necessarily what agencies want. To accomplish this, GTA will focus on giving them more control over their environments and building a new consulting group to help guide their journey.

The concept of state agencies having more control over their environment centers around the Georgia Enterprise Technology Services (GETS) program, which delivers computing and managed network services to state and local government agencies.

The issue, Kagansky explained, is that GETS was not easily accessible by all state agencies, and it could be difficult for them to access different resources.

“It’s kind of what I would call a walled garden,” Kagansky explained. “Once you’re in the garden, there’s a lot to choose from and a lot to do, but getting in was really tough.”

Now, however, GTA will be working with agencies to make it easier to access different services from GETS, such as the cloud, certain data surfaces and end-user computing.

As for the new consulting group, Kagansky said it wouldn’t necessarily function in the traditional sense but instead focus on agency advisement and optimization.

“We’ve brought in a director of automation, and now we’re looking at bringing in some people on the financial management side to start helping agencies get a better handle on things,” Kagansky said. “It’s no longer about just running things they’ve always run, but how can they make things better, more cost-effective, more available and cast a wider net to constituents.”

“I always look at everything through the citizen lens. So, I’m always looking at what are things we should see an improvement to," he added. "Other agencies have already made strides in being more efficient and offering better services to constituents; we’re just hoping to do the same throughout.”
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.