UK makes strides to become a top five cloud nation says BSA – with Germany leading the way

The UK is making strides in the international cloud arena, according to the latest report from The Software Alliance (BSA), driven by strong data protection laws and cybersecurity strategy.

The alliance’s latest Global Cloud Computing Scorecard, a study which assesses cloud policies worldwide, puts the UK in fourth position out of 24 leading IT economies, behind only Germany, Japan, and the United States. This represents a significant improvement for Blighty compared with a ninth placed finish in 2016.

The report assesses the difference in the landscape between 2012, when the first scorecard was released, and today. Cloud initiatives are increasingly driven by the enterprise, the report finds, with governments ‘recognising the cost-effective and far-reaching power of the technology’ increasingly going in as well.

What sets the leading countries apart from the laggards is advanced privacy and security policies, the report stresses. Japan, for instance, has a new central regulator in place to accompany its recent privacy legislation. Yet other countries, such as Brazil and Thailand, are lacking.

Indeed, some of the world’s largest countries, in terms of size and population, are propping up the table. Vietnam finished dead last, behind Indonesia in second last, China, Russia, and India. This correlates with the periodical findings of the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA), who when last polled put the same four Asian countries at the bottom of their list.

Yet the BSA report argues it is not through a lack of effort that some countries are struggling. Take Indonesia as an example. The country continues to update and reform laws and regulations in the IT sector, but without a positive result for cloud computing.

For those at the top of the tree, the focus is now on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. Cloud ‘allows [AI] data to be collected and analysed efficiently’, while it ‘allows participants in blockchain transactions to remotely record information in decentralised ledgers and subsequently access them’, as the report puts it.

“Cloud computing allows anyone to access technology previously available only to large organisations, paving the way for increased connectivity and innovation,” said Victoria Espinel, BSA president and CEO. “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 rest of the top 10 was comprised of Australia, Singapore, Canada, France, Italy and Spain.

You can read the full report here (pdf).