Thailand inches up IT economy ladder

Thailand inches up IT economy ladder

Thailand ranked 19th out of 24 leading IT economies last year, compared with a ranking of 21st in 2016, indicating that the legal and regulatory environment for cloud computing in Thailand is improving, though significant gaps remain, says the Software Alliance (BSA).

The improved ranking was due to improvements in cybercrime and intellectual property laws.

BSA last week released its 2018 Global Cloud Computing Scorecard, a flagship study that assesses cloud computing policies around the globe. The 2018 BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard -- the newest version of the report that ranks countries' preparedness for the adoption and growth of cloud computing services -- features an updated methodology that better reflects the policies that have helped cloud computing's exponential growth over the past five years, putting additional emphasis on countries' privacy and cybersecurity laws and broadband infrastructure.

In 2018, most countries continue to make improvements, but some markets fell behind. Germany scored the highest because of its national cybersecurity policies and promotion of free trade, followed closely by Japan and the US. Bringing up the rear is a small group of nations that failed to embrace the international approach: Russia, China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The scorecard's key findings include:

Advanced privacy and security policies set leading countries apart from lagging markets. Countries continue to update and refine their data protection regimes, most often in a way that enables cross-border data flows. Several countries, however, still have not adopted adequate privacy laws.

Emerging markets continue to lag in the adoption of cloud-friendly policies, hindering their growth. Examples include regulations that impose significant barriers for cloud service providers, data localisation requirements and a lack of cybersecurity protections.

Deviations from widely adopted regimes and international agreements changes hold back key markets. Internationally accepted standards, certification and testing help improve the security environment for cloud computing, but not every country recognises such best practices as meeting local standards.

Those few countries that have embraced localisation policies pay a heavy price. Data localisation requirements act as a barrier to cloud computing, causing negative financial impacts for local markets.

Increased emphasis on IT readiness and broadband deployment leads to interesting results. The ability of countries and companies to leverage cloud computing for growth requires access to a powerful network. While most countries continue to work to improve broadband access, the success of those efforts remains very inconsistent.

The scorecard aims to provide a platform for discussion between policymakers and cloud service providers, helping to develop an internationally harmonised regime of laws and regulations that facilitate 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 chief executive of BSA. "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."

The 24-country rankings and findings are at www.bsa.org/cloudscorecard.

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