A policy framework that supports data privacy rights, introduces standards, prosecutes cybercriminals, and promotes a robust IT infrastructure is one of the backbones of a supportive cloud environment. The 2016 BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard looked at exactly these aspects when it ranked the cloud computing readiness of the 24 countries that account for 80 per cent of the world’s IT markets. The winners were Japan, the US and Germany with Australia following on sixth spot. The top three cloud nations, Japan, the U.S. and Germany, had also headed BSA’s previous Scorecard in 2013.
Significant Policy Improvements
Canada and France just placed ahead of Australia by a very narrow margin. The remaining spots in the top ten went to Singapore, Italy, the United Kingdom and Poland. The biggest gainers were South Africa which jumped from 20th to 14th place and Canada which moved five places up from 9th to 4th. The lowest ranking countries were Russia, India, Turkey, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, China and Vietnam.
The governments of the top ten countries were praised for continuously trying to improve the legal and regulatory environment for cloud computing. Overall this year’s results showed that most countries achieved significant improvements in their policy environments compared to the 2013 Scorecard, but there was also a worrying gap showing. Whilst the higher ranking countries continued to redefine and improve their policies, countries which ranked in the middle stagnated.
Prescriptive Data Localisation a Potential Obstacle
The lowest ranking countries struggled with varying issues. Russia fell three positions in rank because of its new data protection framework that contains prescriptive data localisation requirements. Indonesia is a similar case and these obstacles will probably make life for cloud service providers more difficult. The report also found that privacy laws are still absent or are limited in countries like Brazil, Thailand, Turkey, China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
China on the other hand has also introduced Internet filtering and censorship which prevents cloud computing from thriving.
But whilst some countries still have a lot of work to do to create the right framework and policies for a supportive cloud climate, the report also highlighted the importance of cloud computing for today’s economy by stating:
“Cloud computing allows anyone — a start-up, an individual consumer, a government or a small business — to access technology previously available only to large organisations.”
The Top Ten Countries for Cloud Readiness
1. Japan 84.8
2. United States 82.4
3. Germany 82.0
4. Canada 80.9
5. France 80.7
6. Australia 80.0
7. Singapore 79.5
8. Italy 79.3
9. United Kingdom 78.9
10. Poland 76.7
ACCA Report Paints Slightly Different Picture
The latest Cloud Readiness Index from the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) however painted a slightly different picture of the world by placing Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Japan in the top spots followed by Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.
When ranked against their APAC counterparts, Germany and the UK ranked 3rd, the US 5th; and Brazil, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) tied at 8th. “The results put Asia in a very strong position to lead the next wave of global innovation and technology,” said Bernie Trudel, Chairman of the ACCA. “Asia Pacific is poised to outperform as they lead the world into the digital age, driven by cloud computing technologies.”
PowerNET’s Jacob Ohlson sees Australia fitting in well with its Asian as well as its European and Northern American counterparts. “Australia is an efficient and low-risk market for data centres and cloud services.” But there are a few counterproductive elements that need working on over the next few months according to Ohlson. “There are potential changes to data retention laws and data localisation on the horizon but the main issue that needs looking at is Australia’s broadband quality as it is just not up to speed compared to many other nations.”
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