BSA & Galexia Global Coud Computing Scorecard (2018) - Galexia Analytics Release

Key Findings

Five short years ago, cloud computing was a new tool — a next-generation technology that promised to help companies and countries unlock greater productivity and expanded economic growth. It was with that perspective that BSA | The Software Alliance launched the Global Cloud Computing Scorecard — a resource to help policymakers shape the proper legal and regulatory environment to encourage the growth of the cloud in their markets.

Fast forward to today and cloud computing is a widely adopted technology that powers global businesses and helps governments better connect with their citizens on a daily basis. Based on that evolution BSA | The Software Alliance believed that 2018 presented an opportunity to step back and reassess the Scorecard — the only report to regularly track change in the relevant international policy landscape. With companies and governments increasingly moving their key IT processes to the cloud, the mix of important policy considerations has become increasingly clear:

  • Privacy laws must ensure the proper protection for users’ data without restricting the ability of companies and users to move data across borders to maximize its value.
  • Security laws must help shape an environment where cloud computing providers can implement cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions without being handcuffed by requirements to use specific technologies. Users also must be able to trust that cloud computing providers understand and properly manage the risks inherent in storing and running applications in the cloud.
  • When it comes to delivering the cloud, countries must invest in the appropriate infrastructure. Cloud users must have access to robust, ubiquitous, and affordable broadband, which requires policies that provide incentives for private sector investment in broadband infrastructure and laws that promote universal access to broadband.

Some basic fundamentals have not changed. IT remains integral to every nation’s economic growth. Cloud computing adds to the importance of IT by increasing access to technology that drives economic growth at the global, national, and local levels.

Cloud computing democratizes the use of advanced technologies. It 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.

The Scorecard has for five years ranked 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 2018 BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard, though, focuses new attention on the policy areas that matter most to cloud computing.

The 2018 Scorecard shows continuing improvements in the policy environment for cloud computing in key global economies since the 2016 version of the Scorecard.

These new rankings put additional emphasis on the policy areas that matter most to cloud computing, things like privacy laws that protect data without unnecessarily restricting its movement across borders and cybersecurity regimes that promote the proper protection of consumer and business data without freezing into place out-dated and unneeded regimes. In addition, questions to assess intellectual property protections have been extensively revised to focus on cloud-relevant issues, including new questions on trade secrets and patents.

The 2018 Scorecard shows continuing improvements in the policy environment for cloud computing in key global economies.

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