Cloud readi­ness in­dex 2018

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Asia-Pa­cific strength­ens its cloud ca­pa­bil­i­ties; emerg­ing mar­kets con­tinue to play catch-up. In­dia and China have both made sig­nif­i­cant progress in driv­ing the re­gion’s adop­tion of cloud-driven tech­nolo­gies, play­ing cen­tral roles in the re­gion’s tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. Yet at 12th and 13th po­si­tions re­spec­tively, they both re­main at the bot­tom of the CRI rank­ings

Since 2011, the Cloud Readi­ness In­dex has mea­sured the ex­tent to which economies are pre­pared to adopt and roll out cloud com­put­ing tech­nolo­gies. The CRI is a com­pos­ite in­dex made up of 10 pa­ram­e­ters grouped into four readi­ness seg­ments — cloud in­fra­struc­ture, cloud se­cu­rity, cloud reg­u­la­tion, and cloud gov­er­nance — and mea­sures where economies are in re­la­tion to each other. Scores are de­rived from sec­ondary, pub­licly-sourced data and in­dexes, nor­malised to a 10-point scale us­ing dif­fer­ent sta­tis­ti­cal meth­ods. Here are the find­ings of this year’s cloud adop­tion dy­nam­ics in APAC and In­dia sure needs some catch­ing up but the po­ten­tial is im­mense.

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.

Cloud readi­ness ad­vances steadily as Sin­ga­pore takes top spotNine 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 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 eco- nomic 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.


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 3rd 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.”


In­equal­i­ties re­main and may limit po­ten­tial growthThe dif­fer­ence be­tween economies’ CRI 2018 scores av­er­ages 2.7 points — just above the 2.6 of 2016 — which means the gap has slightly wors­ened over time.

The fact that the eight high­est-rank­ing economies re­main un­changed be­tween the CRI 2014 and the CRI 2018 sug­gests that this cloud di­vide may al­ready be deeply en­trenched. With­out fur­ther in­ter­ven­tion, this di­vide could widen de­spite the ef­forts be­ing made by emerg­ing mar­kets to lever­age the smart tech­nolo­gies that en­able sus­tain­able dig­i­tal economies.

“To re­duce the cloud com­put­ing di­vide, the ACCA rec­om­mends emerg­ing APAC economies ac­cel­er­ate work to de­velop ini­tia­tives that boost con­nec­tiv­ity fun­da­men­tals,” says Eric Hui, Vice-Chair of the ACCA. “These could be govern­ment cloud (gCloud) schemes that im­prove in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic con­nec­tiv­ity, as well as na­tional digi­ti­sa­tion plans that drive short-term tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion in emerg­ing fields (5G, Internet of Things, Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence) and ad­dress longer term de­vel­op­ment goals.”


The re­sults of the CRI 2018 paint a use­ful pic­ture for cloud pol­i­cy­mak­ers and prac­ti­tion­ers alike. But they also raise some in­ter­est­ing ques­tions that make it nec­es­sary to start think­ing be­yond sim­ple readi­ness:

In­dia and China have both made sig­nif­i­cant progress in driv­ing the re­gion’s adop­tion of cloud-driven tech­nolo­gies, play­ing cen­tral roles in the re­gion’s tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. Yet at 12th and 13th po­si­tions re­spec­tively, they both re­main at the bot­tom of the CRI rank­ings.

In­done­sia, Malaysia, and the Philip­pines have re­cently im­ple­mented a num­ber of for­ward-look­ing poli­cies that make them at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tions for cloud providers. But be­cause these are pol­icy-driven changes, it will be some time be­fore their im­pact can be felt or even mea­sured.

“The ACCA believes there is a clear need for ad­di­tional met­rics that mea­sure the po­ten­tial im­pact cloud tech­nolo­gies have on so­ci­eties,” says Lim May-Ann. “Should met­rics be avail­able across economies, a new Cloud Im­pact seg­ment could be in­cluded in the CRI, in­volv­ing a num­ber of in­di­ca­tors such as num­ber of smart ci­ties, num­ber of lo­cally-de­vel­oped apps, fin­tech pres­ence and growth, at­trac­tive­ness to tech start-ups, or IoT us­age in in­dus­tries.”

“Mov­ing fur­ther into the Fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion, cloud-based tech­nolo­gies will con­tinue to drive in­tel­li­gent in­no­va­tion that con­nects peo­ple, prod­ucts, and plat­forms,” adds Bar­bara Navarro, Trea­surer of ACCA. “In this con­text, APAC economies must mea­sure new as­pects of their tech­nol­ogy poli­cies — not only their im­ple­men­ta­tion, but also their ac­tual im­pact on peo­ple’s lives.”


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