The Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) published its third Cloud Readiness Index in 2014, assessing 14 countries in the region against ten criteria, including broadband quality and data sovereignty, which indicate the infrastructural and regulatory preparedness for cloud computing adoption. This assessment indicated three distinct groups forming in terms of development: Ready Leaders, Dedicated Improvers and Steady Developing.
The big improvers in the Index, each moving four places up the rankings, were New Zealand, Australia and Thailand. A commonality between these countries is having a governmental ICT and Cloud policy. Primary among these is New Zealand’s “cloud first” policy, which is explained as “where State services agencies would be expected to adopt approved cloud services either when faced with new procurements, or an upcoming contract extension decision”. Lim May-Ann, Executive Director of the ACCA, stated that “a proactive government-led cloud first policy will have profound and productive implications right across the economy – as we are now seeing from the policies adopted by the successful economies”.
Ready, Dedi and Steady
In making the country assessments, the ACCA saw three development-stage groups emerging. Firstly, the Ready Leaders, comprising Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea. These economies look at fresh approaches, and foster innovation and creativity when looking at the next generation of cloud computing services. Looking at individual strengths, the broadband quality in South Korea and Hong Kong is consistently excellent; Japan and Singapore score highly when it comes to protecting intellectual property, and Australia and New Zealand have developed whole-of-government cloud computing policies.
The next band of economies are the Dedicated Improvers, consisting of Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines; economies that, while showing good levels of growth and development, are less developed in some areas. Nevertheless, there are indicators of excellence in each of these states: the Philippines in terms of freedom of information access; Taiwan in international connectivity and business sophistication; Thailand in green policy and power grids, and Malaysia with a low data centre risk index.
Finally, there is the Steady Developing group, which includes China, Indonesia, India and Vietnam. While these countries may be the lowest-ranked, the ACCA stresses that they are still showing good development, particularly in terms of physical infrastructure and government policy. The ‘Broadband China’ policy is forecast to provide nationwide coverage by 2020; free city-wide wifi services have been rolled out in various Vietnamese cities thanks to public-private partnerships; Indonesia’s tax e-billing system has been a success and India’s nascent GI Cloud initiative (aka ‘Meghraj’) is showing promise.
Given the speed and nature of the development across the entire region, it will be of great interest to see how the rankings look in 2015. As Bernie Trudel, Chairman of the ACCA says, “in a region where you have to run just to keep pace, these countries will need to keep their eyes on the goalposts to stay the course”.
See the Asia Cloud Computing Association website for more information.
The ACCA is a supporting association of Cloud Asia in Hong Kong, November 24-26 2014.