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Q&A: Which Tech-Advanced Countries Are Best Prepared for Economic Growth?

It’s been five years since BSA launched the first Global Cloud Computing Scorecard. Back then, cloud computing was a still-emerging technology that held the promise of helping companies and countries expand their economic growth. Fast forward to 2018 and businesses and governments around the world are adopting cloud solutions to take advantage of the ability to radically change the way they interact with customers and constituents.

Today, we launched the 2018 BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard, the newest and most comprehensive version of the report.

So, what is the Scorecard?

The Scorecard is the only report to track changes in the legal and regulatory environment for cloud computing on a broad scale. In order for countries to realize the full benefits of cloud computing, they need to have the proper policies in place that (1) ensure privacy, (2) promote security, (3) battle cybercrime, (4) protect intellectual property, (5) ensure data flows and adherence to international standards, (6) promote free trade, and (7) establish the necessary IT infrastructure. We look at each country’s existing laws and policies and grade them on their strengths and weaknesses in each of the seven areas to determine how prepared they are for cloud computing adoption.

What has changed in the new report?

We released the last version of the Scorecard in 2016. Due to the increased growth of cloud computing and changes in markets around the world, BSA decided to update the way it ranks countries’ preparedness. The new rankings put additional emphasis on the policy areas that matter most to cloud computing, including privacy laws and cybersecurity protections.

How did countries rank this time?

The study found most countries continue to improve their policy environments for cloud computing. More importantly, though, the legal and regulatory measures help set the stage for those countries to best grow their economies by allowing companies to leverage the power of cloud computing.

Looking more closely at the rankings, the United Kingdom moved up five places from the last report, and Brazil moved up four. Overall, Germany scored the highest, followed by Japan and the United States. Other countries including Korea, Mexico, Malaysia, and South Africa are making progress on their preparedness for cloud computing.

What are some of the key takeaways based on these rankings?

The report shows that advanced privacy and security policies set leading countries apart from lagging markets. Protectionist policies that inhibit the free flow of data make it harder for customers to take full advantage of cloud computing, hindering those countries’ growth. It’s also beneficial if policies adhere to widely adopted best practices and international agreements. Globally accepted standards, certifications, and testing help improve the security environment for cloud computing.

How can the report help policymakers?

The Scorecard’s goal is to provide a starting point for discussions between policymakers and cloud providers in order to improve laws and regulations. Policymakers can use the Scorecard as a tool to conduct a constructive self-evaluation and determine the next steps that need to be taken to help advance the growth of global cloud computing.

Cloud computing allows anyone to access technology previously available only to large organizations, paving the way for increased connectivity and innovation. Every country should be able to benefit.

Learn more about BSA’s Global Cloud Computing Scorecard here.

Learn more about BSA’s policy priorities here.

Victoria Espinel


Victoria Espinel is a respected authority on the intersection of technology innovation, global markets and public policy. She leads strategic efforts that help shape the technology landscape in 60 countries through work in BSA’s 10 global offices.

Espinel also serves as the President of the BSA Foundation. is an independent and nonpartisan international research organization created to help policymakers and the broader public better understand the impact that software has on our lives, our economy, and our society.

Espinel served for a decade in the White House, for both Republican and Democratic Administrations as President Obama’s advisor on intellectual property and, before that, as the first ever chief US trade negotiator for intellectual property and innovation at USTR. She was also a professor of international trade and intellectual property at the George Mason School of Law.

Espinel is a founding and ongoing co-sponsor of Girls Who Code’s Washington, DC, summer immersion program, which empowers young women to pursue careers in STEM fields. She speaks before audiences around the world to build visibility for the amazing things people can do with software, and encourages businesses, governments, and the public to support a policy environment that will enable even more software breakthroughs.

Espinel chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Digital Economy and Society. She was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN), the principal advisory group for the US government on international trade. She holds an LLM from the London School of Economics, a JD from Georgetown University Law School, and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Follow her on Twitter: @victoriaespinel.

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