Navigating your way to the cloud: Compliance guide for Asia Pacific businesses

By Andrew Cooke, Regional Director of Legal Affairs, Microsoft Asia Pacific, Japan & Australia 

Cloud technologies are transforming how business is being done around the Asia Pacific region. Organizations across all industries – from financial services and healthcare to education and the public sector, are reaping the benefits of the cloud to improve their operations and enhance their services.

As a leading provider of cloud services, Microsoft has spent many years talking with customers who want to be a part of this digital transformation journey.  Many operate in highly regulated sectors and can feel overwhelmed by the patchwork of laws, regulations, and policies that exist across borders and markets. Faced with so much complexity, some even take the view that there are barriers or prohibitions on the use of cloud services.

Our customers tell us that they want to transform digitally but that they are sometimes unsure about how to do so in a compliant manner. As a provider of cloud services, we know that it’s our responsibility to play a key role in helping our customers navigate this legal and regulatory landscape.

That’s why Microsoft has just launched a digital guide to cloud regulations in Asia Pacific aimed at legal and compliance professionals and other key decision makers. It is the first platform of its kind in the region, and a comprehensive resource on the regulations that apply to the adoption of cloud.

 

Answering the key questions on cloud adoption

As organizations shift from on-premises technology to the cloud, decision makers – be they lawyers, compliance and risk professionals, CFOs or CEOs – are confronting some tough questions such as:

  • Can we move to the cloud in our industry?
  • What are the compliance requirements that we need to consider before we make the move?
  • Can we move to the cloud and continue to meet our privacy law obligations?
  • What industry security standards do we need to think about?
  • What should we look out for in our cloud contract?

These concerns are compounded several-fold when a business spans an entire region or the globe.

It was with this background in mind, and in response to direct customer feedback, that Microsoft took the decision to launch a digital guide.

During our discussions with customers across industries and countries, they told us that they need a single, comprehensive resource to quickly access key materials on the regulatory landscape. The requirements are often scattered across multiple statutes, regulations, guidelines and policy statements, some of which date back several years or even decades.  By bringing everything together in one place, we want to make all of the information that our customers need more readily available.

How organizations can use the guide

Today, the guide contains regional and country-specific information for 15 markets in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as industry-specific information for organizations in the financial services sector. Over the coming weeks and months, Microsoft will populate the guide with information for other regulated sectors, including healthcare, education and the public sector, as well as materials for additional markets.

In addition to a simple “Q&A” structure on the regulations relevant to cloud in each country, the guide also links to several more detailed resources, including product checklists, which enable cloud customers to map their use of cloud services against the regulatory environment, links to Microsoft’s contract terms, customer stories and practical, step-by-step guides to cloud adoption.

We have been pleased to see that regulators across the region are increasingly issuing policies that enable and even encourage innovation through technology. It is now easier than ever for our customers to move to the cloud. Making these resources available online is part of our commitment to supporting our customers and ensuring trust and compliance in the cloud.

How to access the guide

The guide is now available online. Click here to access it. It could be the start of your own digital transformation journey.