Development of a regulatory regime for the provision of cloud computing services in Saudi Arabia

Project executed on behalf of Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC)

Project Objective

The Saudi ICT regulator, CITC, was tasked with designing one of the first cloud-specific regulatory regimes in the world, to provide clarity to stakeholders and promote the adoption of cloud computing in the Kingdom. 

Project Description

Axon supported CITC in the creation of a regulatory regime for the provision of cloud infrastructures and services in Saudi Arabia. The regime’s main elements included a general cloud computing framework (setting out terms and conditions for the provision of such services) and a licensing scheme tailored to regulatory oversight requirements for different types of providers.

The novelty and complexity of the topic, and the diversity of the stakeholders and interests involved required a well-defined work strategy, as follows:

  • Assessment of the current situation in Saudi Arabia and international benchmark study on the public policies, laws and regulations covering cloud computing in the rest of the world. This covered not only the very few available examples of cloud-specific provisions, but also other general areas affecting the provision of cloud computing services such as consumer and data protection, content regulations, cybersecurity provisions, etc.
Figure 1: Indicative overview of the Cloud Computing ecosystem
  • Gap analysis to identify potential improvements and suggest policy options.
  • Elaboration of the relevant documents forming the new regulatory regime (frameworks, registration/licensing processes, guidelines, guides, codes, etc.).
  • Public consultation for feedback from the stakeholders (including government agencies, cloud providers, private companies, international associations, etc.).
  • Interaction with several stakeholders through workshops and interviews with, e.g., Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.
  • Knowledge transfer sessions on Cloud Computing in CITC’s auditory, open to all CITC staff, for a presentation of the Cloud Computing ecosystem and its trends, international best practice and future challenges.

Key Takeaways

The project ended with a full regulatory regime (latest version available here), which provides clear and comprehensive rules for the provision of cloud computing services in Saudi Arabia.