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Developed APAC countries well-poised for the cloud

With strong policies in data protection and cyber security, Japan, Australia and Singapore are among countries that are most prepared to reap the benefits of the cloud

Developed countries in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region are among those that are most well-poised to take advantage of cloud computing, a study has revealed.

According to the 2018 BSA Global cloud computing scorecard, Japan led the region in terms of preparedness for the adoption and growth of cloud computing services. Other APAC nations ranked in the top 10 include Australia and Singapore.

Conducted by Galexia, a research firm that specialises in privacy, identity, cyber security and cloud, the scorecard examines the legal and regulatory framework of 24 countries worldwide, in areas such as data privacy, intellectual property (IP) protection, cyber security and broadband penetration.

Advanced countries with fast-growing digital economies tend to do well in such studies, largely due to their strong regulatory frameworks, as well as high broadband penetration that commands the highest weightage in BSA’s study.

Singapore, Korea and Japan, for example, earned the highest scores in broadband deployment, lifting their overall rankings in the scorecard, while Australia did well in managing and regulating cyber security, as well as promoting security certification and security testing.

At the lower end of the cloud preparedness spectrum were developing countries in South America and Asia.

China, Indonesia and Vietnam were at the bottom of the rankings, largely due to weaker scores in terms of IP protection, data privacy and policies that promote free trade and cross-border data flows.

“Countries like Singapore and Japan did well largely because they have good policies for cross-border data flows, data protection and cyber security,” said Aaron Cooper, vice-president for global policy at BSA. “In other places in APAC, we still see difficulty in China and Vietnam where there are restrictions on cross-border data flows.”

According to the BSA, countries that have adopted or proposed prescriptive data localisation regimes would require cloud service providers to restrict the free flow of data or build costly – and unnecessary – servers to provide services in a specific market.

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Even in a large domestic market like China where data flows largely stay in the country for now, Cooper said Chinese companies will start to expand their global footprint in the long run – and will require free data flows to be successful.

The BSA said the scorecard can help countries constructively self-evaluate their policies and determine the next steps to increase adoption of cloud computing.

“Cloud computing allows anyone to access technology previously available only to large organisations, paving the way for increased connectivity and innovation,” said Victoria Espinel, president and CEO of BSA.

“Countries that embrace the free flow of data, implement cutting-edge cyber security solutions, protect intellectual property, and establish IT infrastructure will continue to reap the benefits of cloud computing for businesses and citizens alike,” she added.

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