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20th Jan 2020

Lobbyists downgrade EU countries on cloud computing

Industry lobbyists have downgraded EU countries in their world ranking of top performers on cloud computing, as the Union prepares to overhaul its data protection rules.

Japan, Australia and the US are top of the cloud computing class, according to the Cloud Scoreboard, published on Thursday (7 March) by the Business Software Alliance, an international lobby group.

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  • Is the EU falling behind in the clouds? (Photo: *n3wjack's world in pixels)

Four EU countries - Germany, France, the UK and Italy - are in the top 10

But all six EU nations featured in the study have lost ground. Italy and Spain were the biggest fallers, slipping back by four and two places in the rankings, respectively.

The biggest mover was Singapore, which jumped five places to fifth overall.

The BSA said data privacy was one the main benchmarks used to draft the survey.

Cloud computing lets people store data on external servers instead of their own computers. It means they can access information and IT services from anywhere in the world and helps businesses to cope with surges in data volume.

Speaking with this website, BSA chief Robert Holleyman warned individual countries not to fence off their networks in the name of security.

"We should all be concerned about countries creating national clouds," he said, adding: "the cloud is more efficient when it is seamless"

His report comes amid EU negotiations on how to reform to the bloc's 18-year-old regulations on data protection.

MEPs on the European Parliament's civil liberties committee will vote in April on amendments to a text which has been subjected to an intense lobbying effort from the software and telecommunications industry as well as privacy NGOs.

Provisions on data privacy and intellectual property rights are also expected to feature in the EU's new bilateral trade agreements, including the EU-US free trade deal.

Several studies have promised that cloud computing will generate huge wealth for those countries which get it right.

The European Commission says a €45 billion investment in the sector could generate almost €1 trillion in GDP growth as well as 3.8 million jobs by 2020.

The International Data Corporation, a US firm, says it will generate $1.1 trillion in revenue in 2015 while creating nearly 14 million new jobs worldwide.

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