Microsoft published a roadmap to help policymakers take full advantage of the transformational benefits of the cloud. The roadmap contains a set of 78 recommendations in 15 policy categories that will provide the foundation for a regulatory environment that leads to a trusted, responsible, and inclusive cloud.
The roadmap contains also examples of how the cloud is already transforming the way governments engage with citizens, how businesses become more productive, and how nonprofits deliver more effective services.
Policy considerations and recommendations
A trusted cloud
- Personal privacy
- Government access to data
- Cross-border data flows
- Secure and reliable cloud services
- International cybersecurity norms
- Modern cybercrime prevention
A responsible cloud
- Balancing human rights and public safety
- Technology fraud and online exploitation
- Environmental sustainability
- Artificial intelligence
An inclusive cloud
- Affordable and ubiquitous access
- Digital literacy
- Developing next generation skills
- Including people with disabilities
- Supporting businesses of every size
There are five key principles city leaders must embrace as they evaluate a cloud platform and the solutions that run on it:
Trust: Every technology platform should be worthy of trust, both in the level of protection it provides against malicious attacks, as well as the degree of privacy and control that individuals have over personal identifiable information ‘” even to the point of providing citizens with the freedom to delete any personal information that doesn’ t impinge on public safety or criminal justice efforts. A trustworthy cloud platform must also support security and compliance standards worldwide.
Interoperability: An effective cloud platform should be compatible with every part of a city’ s technology infrastructure ‘” from devices such as traffic cameras to the streaming data captured by those cameras. Doing so helps ensure that incompatibilities with either existing or future technology investments do not hinder digital transformation.
Mobility: Citizens expect and demand to be able to use their smartphones to connect and engage with their cities and city governments. As connected cars, wearable devices and mobile apps become even more common, no avenue is more direct for engaging citizens. With the right connected cloud platform, cities can create mobile services that are designed with a local citizen experience in mind, enabling city employees to deliver more personalised services to citizens.
Sustainability: IT consumes a large amount of energy. Using the cloud, city leaders can move to a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) software deployment model that reduces energy consumption, eliminates the overhead of operating and managing an on-premises network, and facilitates the development of services that can be easily reused ‘” both within a city and across city lines.
Scalability: In addition to increasing sustainability, PaaS gives cities greater flexibility to offer services that automatically adjust to both high and low instances of demand. With an interoperable and scalable cloud platform, cities can work more closely with neighbouring communities to develop and connect solutions and services that ease complex regional issues, and maintain citizen engagement experiences and satisfaction regardless of city jurisdiction.