United States ranks among most cloud-ready nations

February 24, 2012

Enterprises around the world continue to gain the cost-saving and productivity benefits of migrating IT functions to the cloud, yet some outside factors are still inhibiting the full growth potential of cloud computing.

The Business Software Alliance, a global advocate for the software industry, recently published a study that analyzed 24 countries' laws and regulations and the impact of those rules on enterprise cloud adoption. The surveyed nations accounted for 80 percent of the world's information and communications technology market, the report said.

According to BSA's findings, Japan is the most cloud-ready country, followed by Australia, Germany, the United States and France. The study assessed each nation's laws and regulations for data privacy, cybersecurity, cybercrime, intellectual property, technology interoperability and legal harmonization, free trade and IT infrastructure.

"The true benefits of cloud computing come with scale," said BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman. "In a global economy, you should be able to get the technology you need for personal or business use from cloud providers located anywhere in the world. But that requires laws and regulations that let data flow easily across borders. Right now, too many countries have too many different rules standing in the way of the kind of trade in digital services we really need."

While the United States ranks among the top nations for cloud computing, it's essential that countries work together to create a global cloud market with comparable rules, restrictions and standards, the report said. According to BSA, governments' cloud legislation should include stipulations that promote the free flow of data and commerce, improve cybersecurity and encourage interoperability between cloud providers, among others.

The report comes as numerous technology experts have recently expressed concern for security in the cloud, as more enterprises are storing data and applications in mobile, cloud and other remote environments. However, many IT providers now offer cloud security solutions, which monitor data across all platforms and enable companies to focus on business-critical tasks.

It's important for all enterprises and government organizations to improve their data protection strategies, and U.S. firms remain ahead of most other nations. According to a recent Lloyd's of London report, the United States ranks among the top countries in the world in data security awareness, signifying that most businesses are realizing the value of protecting their private data.

"We need states, businesses and insurers to work together more closely to tackle this growing threat, which is at the heart of the world's economy," said Lloyd's of London chief executive Richard Ward.

-McAfee Cloud Security