Cloud readiness has improved across the Asia-Pacific region, with three countries moving up four places each - New Zealand (ranked 2nd, with overall score of 76.3), Australia (ranked 3rd, with overall score of 75.1) and Thailand (ranked 9th, with overall score of 59.3).
According to the 2014 edition of the just released Cloud Readiness Index (CRI) by the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA), the Philippines jumped two notches higher in making it to the group of "dedicated improvers" in the cloud computing sector in Asia, along with Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia.
The Philippines moved up to 10th place this year, with an overall score of 56.1, coming ahead of China (11th place), Indonesia (12th place), India (13th place) and Vietnam (14th place).
Factors that contributed to the improvement in the ranking of countries include several developments in the cloud ecosystem. Among them:
- updates made to the Internet and data center management legislation in Indonesia, India and Vietnam
- new laws enacted or tabled for discussion in Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam
- new ministries set up to oversee the confluence in technology, innovation and business in Hong Kong and New Zealand
- the new Broadband China project launched to add 60 million broadband users and 100 million 3G users to the country's tech footprint
Japan remained the most cloud-ready country in the region with an overall score of 76.8 in the index. In 2013, the country unveiled a new national defense cyber security strategy. The country, along with New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea, make up the so-called "ever-ready leaders" in cloud computing – markets with robust IT infrastructure and regulatory framework already in place.
‘Cloud First’ Strategy
The ACCA noted that leading countries all share the ability to arrive at a coherent "cloud first" strategy in both government and business development.
"Having a cohesive all-of-government approach towards gCloud and other public sector cloud initiatives, supporting computerization efforts of SMBs, ensuring the political will behind broadband rollout continues unabated - these are some examples of how an integrated approach towards cloud computing issues can raise local capacities for the future," the report said.
Monchito Ibrahim, Philippine Undersecretary of the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO), affirmed that the cloud is going to be a very important part of the Philippine government's strategy, and a big part of the e-government masterplan.
"The basic platform will be in the cloud and the common applications will be in the cloud. We are now launching government services in the cloud. This year will be a very important period," he said.
However, even among the leaders, there is room to slide back as other countries improve their ranking. South Korea (ranked 6th, with overall score of 73.3), and India (ranked 13th, with overall score of 48.8) fell by four places, posting the biggest drops among the countries covered by the index.
Hong Kong (ranked 5th, with overall score of 74.7) and Taiwan (ranked 7th, with overall score of 68.2) also fell by two oases, while China (ranked 11th, with overall score of 53.3 percent), and Vietnam (ranked 14th, with overall score of 47.8) all dropped one place in the index.
The ACCA, however, lauded initiatives and fresh approaches towards next generation and cloud computing services in most of these countries.
South Korea and Hong Kong have been consistently delivering excellent broadband qualities to their citizens; while Singapore and Japan have impressive scores in protecting intellectual property. Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand both have all-of-government "cloud first" approaches towards cloud adoption.
"The opportunities for leader countries are the rewards of innovation. A first-mover advantage in developing efficiencies in data management, improve power grid stability and greening of data centers will ensure their continued lead in the Asian league table, and also continue the trend of continual advancement and modernization in Asia," the ACCA report concluded.