Microsoft opens up over local cloud regulations

Microsoft opens up over local cloud regulations

Unveils a resource on the regulations that apply to the adoption of cloud

Microsoft has launched a digital guide to cloud regulations in Asia Pacific, aimed at helping key decision makers when it comes to the adoption of cloud.

Specifically, in Australia, the guide is set out to achieve efficiency, cost savings, strategic business objectives and to enhance levels of security and privacy compared with existing on-premises solutions.

According to Microsoft, Australia is one of the most advanced markets in the Asia Pacific region for the adoption of cloud computing and locally, many organisations are leveraging cloud services for the benefit of their employees or customers.

As a result, with the guide, it claims that organisations can move to the cloud in a way that meets all applicable security and privacy requirements.

The guide highlights general privacy laws, such as the Privacy Act 1988, which regulates the collection, use and processing of personal data.

It imposes obligations on organisations concerning matters such as notice, consent and purpose, disclosures, international transfers, security, data retention, data subjects' rights of access and correction and subcontracting.

It also includes the thirteen Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). 

In addition to general privacy laws, it addresses specific requirements that may apply depending on industry sector.

“This is all part of Microsoft's continual commitment to providing clarity and helping our customers innovate and navigate their way to the Microsoft cloud with confidence and enjoy the benefits of digital transformation,” Microsoft said, in a statement.

New Zealand cloud adoption had been hindered by regulatory concerns, the New Zealand guide says. 

"That has now changed as various new regulations and guidance across sectors make it clear that organisations can move to the cloud in a way that meets all applicable security and privacy requirements."

Microsoft Asia Pacific, Japan and Australia regional director of legal affairs, Andrew Cooke, said the guide is a result of its customers’ want to transform digitally but are 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," he said. "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."

He added that as organisations shift from on-premises technology to the cloud, decision makers are confronting some tough questions such as the following:

  • Can we move to the cloud in our industry?
  • What are the compliance requirements that need to be considered before making the move?
  • Can the move be made to the cloud and continue to meet privacy law obligations?
  • What industry security standards should be thought of?
  • What to look out for in a 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,” Cooke added. 

“By bringing everything together in one place, we want to make all of the information that our customers need more readily available.” 

The guide currently contains regional and country-specific information for 15 markets in the Asia Pacific region, as well as industry-specific information for organisations in the financial services sector. 

Over the coming weeks and months, Microsoft expects to populate the guide with information for other regulated sectors, including healthcare, education and the public sector, as well as materials for additional markets.

Microsoft's cloud regulations guide for Australia can be found here, while New Zealand's cloud regulations guide can be accessed here.

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