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APR 26, 2016 | GLOBAL

Despite Gains, Countries' Cloud Computing Policies Leave Much Room for Improvement, BSA Study Shows

South Africa, Canada Make Major Strides; Russia, China Push Policies Hindering Technology

WASHINGTON — April 26, 2016 — National governments continue to make significant strides in improving the legal and regulatory environment for cloud computing around the globe, but important exceptions exist in several countries that threaten to impede economic growth in those markets, according to a far-reaching study by BSA | The Software Alliance.

The 2016 BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard ranks the 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.

Cloud computing allows anyone — a start-up, an individual consumer, a government or a small business — to quickly and efficiently access technology in a cost-effective way. These services in return open the door to unprecedented connectivity, productivity and competitiveness.

This year’s results reveal that almost all countries have made healthy improvements in their policy environments since the release of BSA’s previous Scorecard in 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 refine their policy environments.

“The Scorecard shows that countries are eager to welcome cloud computing and its myriad economic benefits, and many of them are creating a favorable regulatory and legal environment,” President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance Victoria Espinel said. “Unfortunately, the Scorecard also shows some countries are heading down a path of treating cloud computing as the next frontier of protectionism. The report is a wakeup call for all governments to work together to ensure the benefits of the cloud around the globe.”

In terms of overall ranking, the biggest improvers were South Africa (moving up six places) and Canada (moving up five places).

Notably, three of the countries that have trailed in the rankings — Thailand, Brazil and Vietnam — continue to make significant and consistent gains and are closing their gap with mid-tier countries. The world’s major IT markets remained stable with modest gains.

Negative trends emerged as well. For example, few countries 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 by limiting the ability of cloud computing service providers to adequately move data across borders.

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

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