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Singapore is second most cloud ready country in Asia-Pacific

Broadband quality, data privacy and pro-business regime makes Singapore the second most cloud ready country in the Apac region

Singapore has jumped two places on the Asia Cloud Computing Association’s (ACCA) Cloud Readiness Index (CRI) 2016, to become the second most cloud ready country in the Asia-Pacific (Apac).

The city state was only bettered by Hong Kong, but other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries – with the exception of Malaysia – fared poorly.

Other Apac countries also lead the world in cloud readiness, which places Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia above markets such as Germany, the UK and the US.

Singapore’s investments in infrastructure – such as cables, power and broadband – combined with a pro-business regulatory environment has made it a preferred destination for cloud business and datacentres.

This fourth iteration of the ACCA’s CRI found that Singapore improved on eight out of the 10 parameters that indicate how prepared the city state was in rolling out cloud computing.

It beat competition on the quality of broadband, regulatory environment and protection of intellectual property. The parameter where it has fallen behind is in freedom of information, where its score of 6.0 dropped.

Malaysia leads the way

Besides Malaysia, which was ranked eighth, other Asean coutries fared poorly in the index, forming the lower half of the index among the 14 Apac countries surveyed.

Companies in Malaysia are better poised to adopt cloud technology compared with other Asian countries, except for Japan. Malaysia ranked higher than Singapore and Hong Kong on two of 10 key parameters in determining how prepared a country is for adopting cloud computing.

“Malaysian cloud companies benefit in particular from emerging industry clusters and with a range of local suppliers ready to play their part. It also beat Singapore on cyber security by a respectable margin,” said Lim May-Ann, executive director of the ACCA.

“According to the study, Malaysia has the best cyber security measures in place in the region. It scored poorly on connectivity and datacentre risk, but showed improvement on eight of the 10 parameters covered in the CRI.”

The other Asean countries on the index were ranked as follows: The Philippines (9), Thailand (10), Indonesia (11) and Vietnam (14).

Gap in cloud readiness

“One of the observations that we’ve made is that there is an intra-Asia cloud readiness or digital cloud divide emerging in the Asia-Pacific,” said Lim. For instance, while Malaysia and (8) and the Philippines (9) are ranked next to each other, there is a significant gap in scoring.

The gap in cloud readiness is possibly becoming entrenched, said Lim. “The gap in cloud readiness between the top performers – from Hong Kong to Malaysia – and the bottom six – from Philippines to Vietnam – is widening, even as the cloud computing becomes a mainstream technology across the region.

“The top performers are now reaping the benefits of multi-year national digitisation plans, including plans for government [G-Cloud], broadband and other connectivity roll outs.”

The Asean countries can be divided into three groups with respect to cloud readiness: mature, emerging and nascent, said Sandeep Bazaz, analyst of Apac datacentre and cloud computing at Frost & Sullivan

Singapore and Malaysia are considered mature in cloud readiness, while Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines are emerging. Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar remain economies at a nascent stage of cloud readiness.

The Asean countries ranked in the lower half of the index tend to have poor ICT infrastructure, international connectivity and broadband penetration.

“The better performing countries have well-defined laws in terms of data privacy and data security and there is proper system of getting these laws implemented,” said Bazaz.

“Another factor is government support, which plays an important role in adoption of cloud computing. Accreditation of cloud computing would certainly help in adoption of cloud computing in any country.”

Read more about cloud computing in the Asean region

  • IoT deployments are in their early stages in the Asean region, but experts predict that, as take-up of IoT apps increases, it will have a big impact on IT infrastructures in the region.
  • Businesses in ASEAN countries are slower to harness cloud computing than in other regions – but could overtake them, with much less legacy IT to deal with.
  • While developed economies such as Singapore are emulating the rapid take-up of other Asian nations, many other Asean organsiations are taking longer.

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