Countries in the Asia Pacific region are leading the world when in comes to cloud readiness, including Australia, despite the country slipping in the risk parameter.
The latest Cloud Readiness Index from the Asia Cloud Computing Association has placed Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia above markets such as Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
This is the first time that the 14-market Asia Pacific-focused study also includes a sample of six non-Asian markets for comparative analysis.
The study, which measures the cloud readiness of economies along 10 parameters, reveals some upsets in the Asia Pacific rankings.
Hong Kong claims the top position, climbing four spots and toppling two-time leading country Japan, which dropped four places to #5. Singapore climbed two ranks into second place, while Taiwan (#6), Philippines (#9), Indonesia (#11) and India (#12) also climbed the ranks.
Countries that fell in the rankings include New Zealand (#3), Australia (#4), as well as South Korea (#7), Thailand (#10), and mainland China (#13). Holding steady are Malaysia (#8) and Vietnam (#14).
According to the report, Australia has lost its edge as a low risk location for data centres, as the country slipped on the data centre risk parameter.
The fourth iteration of the ACCA's CRI shows that while economic stability, world-leading freedom of information and cybersecurity continue to make Australia an efficient and low-risk market for data centres and cloud services, Australia has struggled to keep pace with its peers in Asia Pacific.
Broadband quality is below the average for the region, and the business environment and changes to data retention laws and data localisation requirements contribute to a riskier outlook for Australian cloud services.
"The results put Asia in a very strong position to lead the next wave of global innovation and technology," explains Bernie Trudel, chairman of the ACCA.
"Asia Pacific is poised to outperform as they lead the world into the digital age, driven by cloud computing technologies,” he says.
Lim May-Ann, executive director of the ACCA, says the cloud has mainstreamed as a technology.
"Public sector adoption of cloud is underway, and we see that multiple gCloud accreditation schemes is the next challenge that businesses will face with governments.
"The next phase for markets is to put in place strong forward-looking policies which enable international data transfers, and address cybersecurity and privacy concerns from consumers and business,” May Anna adds.
Despite the positive trend, there are signs of an emerging intra-regional digital divide, the report shows.
This is the fourth year that the ACCA has published the CRI; comparing the cloud readiness of 14 economies over time suggests that the gap in cloud readiness may be becoming entrenched. 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 gCloud, broadband and other connectivity rollouts.