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Report: Cloud-Enabling Policies Drive Economies, While Data Localization Requirements Hinder Growth

WASHINGTON — March 6, 2018 — Cloud computing is becoming more and more integral to every nation’s economic growth. The increasingly adopted technology powers global businesses and helps governments better connect with their citizens on a daily basis. It follows, then, that countries with policies that promote cloud computing services will increase their productivity and advance their economy.

The 2018 BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard – the newest version of the only global report to rank countries’ preparedness for the adoption and growth of cloud computing services – features an updated methodology to better reflect cloud computing’s exponential growth over the past five years, putting additional emphasis on policy areas, including privacy laws, cybersecurity laws, and broadband infrastructure.

Most countries continue to make improvements, the study finds, but some markets are falling further behind. Germany scored the highest on the Scorecard – due to its national cybersecurity policies and promotion of free trade – followed closely by Japan and the United States. Bringing up the rear are a small group of nations that have failed to embrace the international approach: Russia, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. In terms of overall ranking, the biggest improvers were the United Kingdom (moving up five places) and Brazil (moving up 4 places).

The Scorecard’s key findings include:

  • Advanced privacy and security policies set leading countries apart from lagging markets. Countries continue to update and refine their data protection regimes, most often in a way that enables cross-border data flows. Several countries, however, still have not adopted adequate privacy laws.
  • Emerging markets continue to lag in the adoption of cloud-friendly policies, hindering their growth. Examples include regulations that impose significant barriers for cloud service providers, data localization requirements, and a lack of cybersecurity protections.
  • Deviations from widely adopted regimes and international agreements hold back key markets. Internationally accepted standards, certifications, and testing help improve the security environment for cloud computing, but not every country recognizes such best practices as meeting local standards.
  • Those few countries that have embraced localization policies pay a heavy price. Data localization requirements act as a barrier to cloud computing, causing negative financial impacts for local markets.
  • Increased emphasis on IT readiness and broadband deployment leads to interesting results. The ability of countries and companies to leverage cloud computing for growth requires access to a powerful network. While almost all countries continue to work to improve broadband access, the success of those efforts remains very inconsistent.

By examining the legal and regulatory framework of 24 countries, the Scorecard aims to provide a platform for discussion between policymakers and cloud service providers. This dialogue can help develop an internationally harmonized regime of laws and regulations that facilitate cloud computing.

“The Scorecard is a tool that can help countries constructively self-evaluate their policies and determine next steps to increase adoption of cloud computing,” said Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “Cloud computing allows anyone to access technology previously available only to large organizations, paving the way for increased connectivity and innovation. Countries that embrace the free flow of data, implement cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions, protect intellectual property, and establish IT infrastructure will continue to reap the benefits of cloud computing for businesses and citizens alike.”

The full, 24-country rankings and detailed findings are available at www.bsa.org/cloudscorecard.

Media Contact

Anna Hughes
202-530-5177
annah@bsa.org


Jamie Rismiller
202-756-7240
jamie@allisonpr.com


For media inquiries:
media@bsa.org

About BSA

BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
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