Interview

BSA strengthening global software industry

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To foster innovation, growth, and a competitive marketplace for commercial software and related technologies, BSA-the Software Alliance company is advancing the goals of the software industry and its hardware partners. BSA focuses its priority activities and resources on those issues that have a tangible, significant impact on the software and hardware industries’ ability to succeed in the marketplace, says Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, Country Manager, BSA-The Software Alliance India in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

1. In a recent study by your organization, India has ranked quite low in the area of cloud computing. What measures should be taken to enhance the use of cloud like technologies in India?

In 2016, we launched the Global Cloud Computing Scorecard, to assess cloud computing policies around the globe. India ranked 18th out of 24 leading IT economies due to lack of openness to digital trade and international standards.

We believe the following specific policy actions should be taken by the Indian government to encourage the growth of a favorable cloud computing environment in India:

  • India should strive to forge bilateral or multilateral agreements that permit the movement of data across borders. India should also reject arbitrary geographic restrictions and requirements for data-storage facilities.
  • India should refrain from adopting discriminatory licensing requirements and certification schemes for cloud providers as any additional compliance requirement would go against the government’s spirit of liberalization and “ease of doing business” objectives.
  • India should ensure that intellectual property laws provide for clear protection and vigorous enforcement against misappropriation and infringement of the technological developments that inspire the cloud.
  1. Brief about Cloud Score Card.

BSA has been conducting a survey of major cloud computing markets since our first Global Cloud Computing Scorecard was released in 2012. In these studies, we rank the countries surveyed according to their cloud computing readiness.

Each country is graded on its strengths and weaknesses in seven key policy areas, encompassing the laws, regulations and IT infrastructure necessary for the support and growth of digital technology and cloud computing.

These areas are – data privacy, security, cybercrime, intellectual property rights, standards that enable data portability and international harmonization of rules, promotion of free trade; and IT readiness and broadband deployment.

  1. Future plans for any specialized programs/projects to be launched in collaboration with the government?

BSA will continue to work with policymakers and regulators in addressing policy challenges emerging areas of technology like cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI). All our initiatives will focus on driving competitiveness and innovation which will help Governments understand and fully participate in the global digital economy.

     4. Explain about the security and privacy challenges about the software industry?

With new technologies emerging, privacy and security have become crucial to the digital economy we live in. Individuals have a right to be secure in their public, private and commercial lives and interactions. But some governments may invoke privacy or security as a rationalization for creating market access barriers.

Given the importance of cross-border data to today’s economy, we encourage governments to use privacy or security policies only as necessary, without creating market access barriers. These regimes should support the free flow of data across international borders so that new technologies such as cloud computing and other valuable data services can flourish.

BSA advocates a balanced approach to privacy that encourages informed consumer choices while also ensuring that the industry can continue to provide products and services for their specific needs.  

  1. How BSA is modernizing digital trade? How would that impact the country’s economy?

Growth of a digital economy requires investing in fundamentals such as education, skills training and broadband infrastructure at the national level. It also requires governments to commit themselves to a trade-modernization effort that recognizes impact of information technologies and services such as mobile and cloud computing, big data and analytics.

BSA works with governments across the globe to modernize trade rules to reflect the realities of digital commerce as it is being conducted today. This requires covering innovative services in trade agreements, keeping borders open to the free flow of data, and preventing mandates on data localization.

Second, BSA works towards promoting stronger protection of intellectual assets through a robust policy and enforcement system. BSA, also works towards ensuring there are level playing fields for all competitors so customers everywhere have access to the best products and services the world has to offer.

We believe it is imperative to modernize trade rules to enable digital commerce. India just like other governments around the world, has legitimate policy objectives but should adopt the least trade restrictive measures possible.

  1. Opinion on digital India mission and development of smart cities mission and how will that support as well as boost India’s development?

With the Digital India campaign underway, India has the opportunity not only to improve its domestic technology environment but to further strengthen its role in the global software economy. Digital India signals a rapid change in the internet landscape. We believe the rise of digital products and services in India will transform the face of the digital economy. Key to this growth will be India’s policies focusing on transforming the country into a digitally powered knowledge economy which is the main goal of the Digital India program.

We believe one key to successfully meet the objectives of the Digital India initiative is the implementation of policies that allow the digital economy to flourish. These include removing restrictions on cross-border data flows, procurement discrimination and discouraging data localization. Such protectionist policies are unlikely to benefit the digital economy and must be avoided.

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