Asia-Pacific Strengthens its Cloud Capabilities

However, the emerging markets continue to play catch-up

Cloud Computing

Mature Asia-Pacific (APAC) economies continue to top the Cloud Readiness Index (CRI) 2018 rankings. Developed by the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA), the CRI places Singapore and Hong Kong ahead of much larger APAC markets such as China, India, and Indonesia.

The CRI also reveals that the readiness divide observed in CRI 2016 has slightly widened despite emerging markets' efforts to leapfrog into digitally-enabled economies. If left unaddressed, this divide could lead to a pervasive unequal access to the potential socio-economic opportunities brought about by digital technologies.

Singapore takes top spot
Nine of 14 APAC economies did not move in the rankings, suggesting that cloud readiness is progressing at a homogenous pace across the region. The Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan markets stood out by ascending one rank each, while Hong Kong and Australia respectively lost one and two positions:

* Singapore's renowned no-nonsense efficiency is a powerful cloud readiness enabler. It is consistently positioned among the top three economies for most segments and parameters, taking the top spot in this year's rankings.

* The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are pushing the Japanese government to increase the scope and scale of its cloud readiness. With its high internet speeds, secure environment, and recent privacy reforms, Japan is well positioned to lead regional cloud adoption.

* As one of the four Asian Tigers, Taiwan has long put emerging technologies at the forefront of its economic strategies. Improvements in the cloud governance and infrastructure segments, have, for instance, strengthened its ability to drive wider cloud adoption by the public and the private sectors.

* Hong Kong's tumble may be indicative of the significant advances made by other APAC economies rather than any specific shortcomings. It remains a strong performer in the cloud infrastructure and security segments, while others do much better in terms of cloud regulation and governance.

* Despite falling in the rankings, Australia remains a strong regional contender. Weighed down by its relatively poor cloud infrastructure, it remains a strong performer in other key readiness areas thanks to its forward-looking 'Cloud First' policy.

Wider cloud adoption will require additional efforts
Singapore and Hong Kong stand out with outstanding broadband speeds and international connectivity, taking top spot in the aggregated cloud infrastructure and regulation segments.

Australia and New Zealand rank highest in terms of cloud governance, well ahead of most other APAC economies. Regarding cloud security, Singapore and South Korea stand out as clear leaders. In third position, Malaysia is the only emerging economy at the top of the cloud security rankings, demonstrating the effectiveness of its recent cybersecurity initiatives.

At the other end of the spectrum, Vietnam and China lag behind the rest of the region's emerging economies in a number of fundamental parameters, including privacy, intellectual property protection, and freedom of information. Cloud infrastructure and security remain an issue for Indonesia and the Philippines, while Thailand performs poorly in the aggregated cloud regulation segment.

"The ACCA recommends that economies who do not have 'Cloud First' policies consider their implementation, and that, economies, who have them in place, look into developing supporting policies," says Bernie Trudel, chairman of the ACCA. "These may include cloud vendor registration or accreditation approaches, providing guidance for baseline security standards to enhance cybersecurity, and developing specific data management policies."

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