The federal government adopted its cloud first initiative five years ago, but some say the transition still appears to be in its early stages.
Agencies have been slow to migrate mission-oriented systems. "Legacy systems are expensive to maintain and often make sensitive information vulnerable to cyberattacks," said Rep. Will Hurd. "The Labor Department has a 30-year-old system developed by people who are now all dead. They had to resort to looking for old parts on eBay."
Federal CIO Tony Scott recently said the federal government spends 80% of its IT budget on maintenance of legacy systems.
Mark Kneidinger, director of the Federal Network Resilience Division at the Department of Homeland Security, said many of the applications federal agencies have shifted to the cloud are "low hanging fruit" such as email or collaboration tools, and for the most part, legacy IT remains in widespread use.
Despite the establishment of FedRAMP, a formal review standard for cloud technologies, federal IT leaders say they still have significant concerns about privacy when it comes to cloud technology.
Unlike the majority of federal agencies, the FCC is making a big steps forward with cloud computing. By the end of fiscal 2017, the FCC says it will have no applications running on its own equipment. Instead, the agency will exclusively use platform- and software-as-a-service offerings. The move is expected to create substantial savings.