BSA & Galexia Global Coud Computing Scorecard (2016) - Galexia Analytics Release

4. Executive Summary and Overall Findings (from the BSA Report)

The 2016 BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard — the only report to regularly track change in the international policy landscape for cloud computing — shows that global cloud readiness continues to improve in every region of the world. Even so, important exceptions exist in certain countries that threaten to slow economic growth in those markets.

Information technology (IT) is integral to a nation’s economic growth. As a recent IT innovation, cloud computing has added a new dimension to that importance by increasing access to technology that drives economic growth at the national and global levels.

The Scorecard ranks the IT infrastructure and policy environment — or cloud computing readiness — of 24 countries that account for 80 percent of the world’s IT markets. Each country is graded on its strengths and weaknesses in seven key policy areas.

The results show progress in some areas, setbacks in others, and the trends that have emerged since the first Scorecard report in 2012. The results also serve as an important roadmap for the future, highlighting the initiatives and policies that countries can — and should — take to ensure that they reap the full suite of economic and growth benefits of cloud computing.

Cloud computing democratizes the use of advanced technologies. Cloud computing allows anyone — a start- up, an individual consumer, a government or a small business — to access technology previously available only to large organizations. These services in return have opened the door to unprecedented connectivity, productivity and competitiveness

Countries that offer a policy environment in which cloud- computing services can flourish gain in productivity and economic growth. The countries with the most favourable policies are those in which the free movement of data, privacy, intellectual property protections, robust deterrence and enforcement of cybercrime are all important priorities. Many countries also recognize that coordination of national cloud-computing policies with those of other nations will facilitate benefits for all countries participating in the global economy.

But countries inhibiting, or failing to support, the use of cloud computing will not keep pace with those embracing the tool.

This year’s results reveal that almost all countries have made significant improvements in their policy environments since 2013. But the stratification between high-, middle- and lower-achieving country groups has widened, with the middle-ranking countries stagnating even as the high achievers continue to re ne their policy environments.

The Scorecard can be analysed in many different ways, but the clearest measurements lie in the scores. The biggest improvers were South Africa (moving up six places), Canada (moving up five places) and Brazil (up more than 4 points but not changing position).

...while many countries are focused on data protection and cybercrime, few are promoting policies of free trade or harmonization of cloud computing policies.

Notably, three of the lowest-ranked countries — Thailand, Brazil and Vietnam — continue to make significant and consistent gains that are closing their gap with next-higher countries. The world’s major IT markets remained stable with modest gains.

Negative trends emerged as well. For example, while many countries are focused on data protection and cybercrime, few are promoting policies of free trade or harmonization of cloud computing policies. Russia and China, in particular, have imposed new policies that will hinder cloud computing.

Other countries, such as Korea, may rank among the better-performing markets based on high scores in certain categories but also have adopted restrictive policies that drag down their overall ranking.

Among this Scorecard’s findings:

  • — Data privacyregimes continue to strengthen in most, but not all, countries:
    • Most countries now have data protection frameworks in place. Canada scored highest based on its comprehensive privacy regime that avoids onerous registration requirements.
    • South Africa received a big boost to its score, moving up six places in rank since 2013, after introducing a comprehensive privacy regime.
    • Russia fell three positions in rank based on its new data protection framework that contains prescriptive data localization requirements. These requirements likely will pose a significant barrier to cloud service providers. Indonesia has also adopted a prescriptive data localization regime.
    • Unfortunately, privacy laws are still absent in several countries. Brazil, Thailand and Turkey have no comprehensive laws in place, while the laws in China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam remain very limited.
  • Data security and cybercrime continue to be high priorities for most countries:
    • Recent high-profile cybersecurity attacks have spurred governments to respond with new cybersecurity laws and policies and most now have legislation to combat the unauthorized access to data in the cloud and cybercrime. A few key jurisdictions continue to have gaps, including China, Russia, Vietnam and Korea.
    • Unfortunately, some countries have been over- prescriptive. China, for example, has imposed an Internet filtering and censorship regime that may act as a barrier to cloud computing.
  • Fewer countries are promoting free trade, data portability and the harmonization of standards:
    • Canada and the United States continue to lead in promoting free trade. A number of countries still provide preferential treatment for domestic suppliers in government procurement or have introduced other barriers to international trade.
    • Damagingly, policies in China, India, Indonesia, Korea and Russia have moved away from accepting international standards and international certifications.
  • Obstructive policies continue to keep some countries from advancing:
    • Despite an improved IT infrastructure score, China dropped four places to next-to-last in the overall rankings due to gaps in privacy protection and cybercrime laws and poor enforcement of intellectual property rights. Other policies discriminate against foreign technology companies and impose onerous certification requirements that hinder free trade. China’s extensive regulation of Internet content, including mandatory Internet filtering and censorship, continues to inhibit data movement.

The United States continues to be an active participant in international standards development processes and an advocate of free trade and harmonization.

  • Some countries made significant gains but little overall improvement:
    • Although many of the lower-achieving countries made big gains in some policy areas, the effect was dampened by other low scores. The strong intellectual property and IT readiness scores of Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, for example, were negatively off-set by poor scores in security.
    • Brazil typifies the struggle of these countries. Brazil ranked lowest in 2012. Although this year it improved considerably, its position in the rankings (22nd) remains the same as it was in the last Scorecard. Despite improvements in security, infrastructure and Internet freedom, Brazil is held back by a lack of comprehensive privacy laws, out-of-date copyright laws, gaps in intellectual property protection and widespread online piracy.
  • In the world’s largest markets, countries remained stable with modest gains:
    • Japan remains in first place, with a score made stronger by continual update and reform of privacy laws, among other policies.
    • Canada made the biggest jump in rank, moving up five spots (for a total of eight positions since the first Scorecard in 2012) into fourth place. Canada’s score benefits from a comprehensive privacy scheme with no onerous registration requirements.
    • Of the six European Union countries considered in the Scorecard, all but the United Kingdom improved or held their positions since 2013. Specifically, Poland (4.70-point increase) and Italy (3.81) each moved up two positions in the rankings, while Germany (2.96) and France (2.41) moved up one place and Spain (2.55) stayed the same. The United Kingdom’s score increased by 1.94 points, but the country lost two places in the rankings due to the gains of other countries. The EU continues to develop regulations that will likely improve harmonization of laws across Europe and increase their scores — so long as the regulations do not also create new burdens.
    • The United States achieved a 2.64-point increase, thanks to a significant improvement in free trade policies and improved IT infrastructure. The United States moved up one position into second place behind Japan. The United States continues to be an active participant in international standards development processes and an advocate of free trade and harmonization.
    • Despite their cloud-readiness, there remains a strong need among the higher-ranked countries for the alignment of legal and regulatory environments that will allow for cloud computing’s global potential and provide a model toward which other countries can strive.
  • General improvements in global IT infrastructure continue, but the picture is uneven:
    • Most countries have improved their infrastructure score significantly since the last Scorecard, with the biggest improvers being France, Russia, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Several countries, including Japan, Korea and Singapore, have implemented impressive national broadband networks.
    • Despite major infrastructure improvements under way in a number of countries, broadband penetration remains very inconsistent.

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