Cloud Computing is rapidly transforming not only computing, but the very fundamentals of how we process, store, and use information—and information is the very basis of civilization. Cloud Computing is historically unique by simultaneously being an innovation ecosystem, production platform, and global marketplace. While the technology and business models are almost inherently global in scale, national politics and regulations will powerfully influence how Cloud Computing unfolds across the world. Critical issues such as information privacy (who gets to see and use information), security (how to protect information from unauthorized access), and communications network policy (the political economy of broadband and wireless networks) will be settled at the national or regional level. There are powerful tensions as US-based multinational firms are rapidly taking over the global Cloud Computing industry. What are the appropriate frameworks to understand how the competitive dynamics are unfolding? What are the options for national-level players? How should we understand the policy issues as they unfold? What is the role of Japan and Asia as this transformation unfolds?
Kenji Kushida is the Takahashi Research Associate in Japanese Studies at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a graduate research associate at the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy. Kushida has an MA in East Asian studies and BAs in economics and East Asian studies, all from Stanford University.