OMB is trying to budget for costs associated with moving services to private cloud providers, but the government's short-term budgeting process doesn't reward agencies for focusing on long-term cost savings, VanRoekel said. As Congress tries to cut budgets, it's also difficult to justify short-term costs for a transition to the cloud, he added.
Norton also raised concerns that a significant amount of the federal government's IT budget goes toward maintaining outdated systems.
Issue joked that there's a benefit: Some systems are so outdated that they don't connect to the Internet or are written in coding languages so old that they are immune from hackers. Some federal systems are "so obsolete, they're hacker-proof," he said. "There aren't old enough hackers, perhaps."
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is email@example.com.