Singapore is the most cloud-ready region in the Asia-Pacific (APAC). The city state overtook previous number one Hong Kong in the latest iteration of Asia Cloud Computing Association’s (ACCA) Cloud Readiness Index (CRI).
The CRI, which aims to assess APAC markets’ readiness to adopt cloud computing, found that Singapore scored strongly in broadband quality, cybersecurity, regulation and business sophistication.
The shift of Singapore to top position was one of a few small movements in the rankings which also saw Japan and Taiwan ascending and Australia and Hong Kong moving down positions. According to the ACCA, the lack of movement suggests that all markets are improving at the same aggregated pace in terms of Cloud Infrastructure, Security, Regulation and Governance.
Government support is key
The report also found that economies scoring better in the CRI are those that have ‘Cloud First’ government policies in place. New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines are all APAC economies that are making progress in this regard. In economies where this may not be in place, regional governments are working to make the shift, putting “cloud infrastructure and expertise at the heart of their wider national digital transformation agendas”.
Despite Australia moving two places in the rankings, the biggest shift in this year’s CRI, the ACA still considers it a strong contender. Weighed down by relatively poor cloud infrastructure, Australia remains a sturdy performer in the aggregated security, regulation and governance segments thanks to its ‘cloud-first’ policy.
Cloud migration has previously been considered slower Asia-Pacific, despite the enormous population base of 4.5 billion people in the region, slightly less than half are connected to the internet. Security concerns, compliance issues, limited regional coverage and skills shortages have all been reasons that the region has proved slow to adopt cloud technology.
Despite these barriers to the region as a whole, the CRI’s top APAC economies Singapore and Hong Kong came out as global leaders in cloud readiness. Beating much larger economies such as the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. This leading performance is thanks to higher scores in connectivity and sustainability along with a slight advantage in Cloud Regulation.
Bridging the divide
The fifth iteration of the CRI sends a message of overall strengthened cloud capabilities in the cloud by the report raises some questions. Despite China making progress in its development of cloud, IoT, AI and Robotics, the country remains at the bottom of the index. The economy had struggled in its broadband quality, power sustainability but the report notes there is also gap in the lack of publicly available information cloud adoption, application and usage.
The report raises concerns over a divide in cloud computing within APAC that could continue to deepen. The difference between economies’ CRI scores has slightly widened over time “The fact that the eight highest ranking economies remain unchanged between the 2014 and 2018 suggests that the cloud divide may already be deeply entrenched,” ACCA said. “Without further intervention, this divide could widen despite the efforts being made by emerging markets to leverage the smart technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that enable sustainable digital economies.”