Cloud technology is everywhere, and it isn’t a new trend. Yet not every country is well-prepared to support the growth of cloud technology and innovation. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is an advocate for the global software industry whose members invest billions annually to create the software we use every day. They’ve developed a scorecard that ranks countries to measure cloud computing preparedness which “aims to provide a platform for discussion between policymakers and providers of cloud offerings, with a view toward developing an internationally harmonized regime of laws and regulations relevant to cloud computing.” The results follow along expected lines of advanced, developed economies being more conducive for the cloud.
So, what is holding nations back?
Some of the barriers to developing better cloud capabilities include policymaking – laws and regulations currently in place inhibit data flow over borders and make things difficult for companies to attempt to import their technology hardware. If countries don’t allow for easy cross-border transactions, many businesses look elsewhere. A solution for cloud-based service providers who want to expand their business into other countries is partnering with an experienced Importer of Record (IOR). A company can outsource their international import licensing, permits, and other importing requirements to an experienced IOR and ensure first-time customs clearance in over 160 nations. Because different countries have their own rules and restrictions, and technology is highly regulated with specific checks and possible delays, having an IOR who can take on the risks and responsibilities of moving technology smoothly is a major benefit. Certain companies offer import VAT Refund services in more than40 global destinations, so companies and governments can also save on the associated costs of importing cloud-based technology and other IT equipment abroad.
On the BSA scorecard, countries were evaluated in terms of data privacy, security, cybercrime prevention, intellectual property rights, free trade, industry-led standards, information technology readiness, and broadband deployments.
While no nation received top marks for cloud preparedness, the top ten (and their scores) are:
- 1.Japan (83.3)
- 2.Australia (79.2)
- 3.Germany (79.0)
- 4.United States (78.6)
- 5.France (78.4)
- 6.Italy (76.6)
- 7.United Kingdom (76.6)
- 8.Korea (76.0)
- 9.Spain (73.9)
- 10.Singapore (72.2)
Japan’s top marks are due to its laws that actively facilitate technology innovation and the digital economy. The BSA notes that they’ve signed the Convention on Cybercrime and were one of the first non-EU nations to take that step. Nations cooperating when it comes to technology is good news for cloud computing that requires an international collaboration. Japan is also lauded for their privacy legislation and intellectual property laws featuring helpful protections for cloud-based service providers. Naturally, Japan’s broadband penetration is high, and the government is committed to providing quality internet access for its entire population.
It’s important to consider that countries which aren’t as well-prepared are potential fertile ground for cloud computing business expansion but at a different level and pace. A pioneering enterprise could have ripe opportunities to help develop nations that are lacking the capabilities and readiness for the cloud. It depends on whether a business is looking to expand into ready markets (with more competition) or help grow those markets up from the ground.