The UK has been named as the ninth-most hospitable country for cloud computing, according to new figures.
A recent study from BSA, The Software Alliance, found that governments continue to make significant strides in improving opportunities for cloud computing, with a particular focus on aiding the legal and regulatory environment of the platform.
But the research suggests that while many countries have made progress, others have let standards slip.
Japan leads the way
The BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard ranks the cloud computing readiness of 24 countries that account for 80 per cent of the world's global IT markets.
It focused on factors, such as protection of data privacy, security, industry standards and IT infrastructure.
The results found that the stratification between high-, middle- and lower-achieving country groups has got wider, with a certain amount of stagnation seen in middle-ranking nations.
Japan was ranked as the top performing nation, earning a ranking of 84.8, while the United States (82.4), Germany (82.0), Canada (80.9), France (80.7), Australia (80.0), Singapore (79.5), Italy (79.3) the United Kingdom (78.9) and Poland (76.7) all earned a space in the top ten.
The results mean that the top three remains unchanged from the respective rankings of BSA’s previous study.
Canada's place in fourth saw it jump up by five places on last year's results, while South Africa was the biggest mover, shifting six places from 20th to 14th.
By its very nature, cloud computing is a technology that straddles various borders, helping inspire safer communications, applications and data transfers.
Disappointment for the UK
The UK's rank of ninth is likely to come as something of a disappointment, with Victoria Espinel, president and chief executive officer of BSA, The Software Alliance, stating: "It’s worrying to see the UK starting to fall behind other faster-moving nations in creating policies which enable cloud innovation.
"It’s critical for global leading nations like the UK to be on the front-foot in creating robust policy frameworks fit for the digital age to prevent protectionism, so governments, businesses and consumers can benefit from the various benefits cloud computing offers. The report is a wake up call for all governments to work together to ensure the benefits of the cloud around the globe."
Overall, the report found that one of the main barriers to cloud adoption was outdated data registration laws, which will make theUK's ranking all the more disappointing given that it already has a comprehensive set of protection laws set up.