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Gov’t rules seen hindering cloud computing growth

HONG KONG—Stiff government regulations remain among the barriers preventing the more widespread adoption in Asia of “cloud computing” solutions that, most corporations agree, can lead to massive savings and increased productivity in any organization.

A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) showed that while some policymakers openly promote advances in technology, these are the same governments that enact laws that limit the adoption of innovations.

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“There is definitely some conflict there,” PWC partner and Asia Pacific Technology Industry Practice leader Greg Unsworth said.

At a briefing here, Unsworth cited examples like Singapore, where a government ministry exists solely to promote the use of new technologies, especially in providing vital public services.

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“But in different parts of the bureaucracy, regulatory bodies are putting in place rules and standards that slow down the adoption of cloud computing,” Unsworth said.

These regulations include stricter protection of personal data of bank clients or transaction records at telecommunication firms. Most countries, he said, still require this kind of information to be stored “on-shore” or within the borders of a country a company operates in.

This goes against the concept of cloud computing which, among other uses, allows companies to securely outsource their storage and computing requirements to servers and computers located in several parts of the world.

Unsworth was speaking at the launch of the Cloud Computing Alliance, a multilateral partnership led by California-based tech firm Oracle Corp. together with some of Asia’s leading telecommunications and information technology service providers.

Among the alliance’s main goals is to find solutions to restrictive and inconsistent government policies and other adoption barriers to cloud computing.

Other concerns for corporations considering the migration to the cloud are security, performance reliability, and the compatibility of cloud solutions with existing systems.

Alliance members, including Hong Kong’s Hutchison Global Communications, VADS (from Malaysia) and LG CNS (South Korea), seek to craft a set of standards that other cloud computing service providers can follow to make it easier for customers to shift and replace their current legacy systems.

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TAGS: Asia, cloud computing, governments, Rules, technology
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