Australia has been ranked the number five IT economy to best offer a legal and regulatory environment for cloud, according to to BSA, The Software Alliance's 2018 Global Cloud Computing Scorecard.
The BSA study, which assesses cloud computing policies and 24 countries' preparedness for its adoption around the globe, showed Australia went up one spot compared to the 2016 study.
The scorecard analyses data privacy, security, cyber crime, intellectual property rights, standards and international harmonisation, promoting free trade and IT readiness and broadband deployment.
According to the study, Australia promotes cloud computing through a mix of modern laws, regulations, and standards.
"For example, Australia has a strong commitment to international cooperation, free trade, and interoperability. Key laws are based on international models, and Australia is an active participant in the development of international standards," the report stated.
Having been published in March, the study considered the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme which entered into effect as of 22 February.
That helped the study conclude that Australia's data protection legislation is current and broadly compatible with global frameworks. The study stated that Australia has up-to-date cyber crime laws and ratified the Convention on Cyber crime in 2012. The country also has comprehensive electronic signature and electronic commerce laws.
"Intellectual property laws in Australia provide good protection for cloud computing services and the digital economy. However, Australia provides limited “safe harbor” protections in the Copyright Act 1968, and the level of protection for cloud service providers remains uncertain," it said.
Australia's IT infrastructure was deemed "reasonably well developed".
The study also examined the National Broadband Network (NBN) plan and roll out which aims to provide eight million connections at speeds of 25–50 Mbps through fibre-to-the-node (FttN) and hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) connections by 2020.
When it came to score if the NBN plan is being implemented effectively, BSA's assessment was positive in part as gaps or inconsistencies requiring remedial work may exist. This refers directly to the fact that, to date, the roll out is at 25 per cent.
NBN Co, the company behind Australia’s NBN rollout, announced in November 2017 it was temporarily pausing all new orders over its HFC access network as it worked to improve service standards across the network.
The study concluded that Australia did not move up one spot due to any improvements as the scorecard results were similar to those of 2016. The change is a result of other countries performance in areas relevant to cloud.
Out of the 24 leading IT economies, Germany scored the highest due to its national cybersecurity policies and promotion of free trade and was followed closely by Japan and the United States.
At the bottom of the list are a small group of nations that "have failed to embrace the international approach", these are Russia, China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
“The Scorecard is a tool that can help countries constructively self-evaluate their policies and determine next steps to increase adoption of cloud computing,” BSA, The Software Alliance president and CEO, Victoria Espinel, said.