Asian countries, led by Hong Kong and Singapore, top the new Cloud Readiness Index (CRI) 2016 released by the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA).
Hong Kong leads APAC in cloud readiness, jumping four spots from the previous Index to oust Japan from the top rank. Singapore is a close second and also moved two ranks higher from fourth place in the previous CRI.
ACCA said Hong Kong has established itself as a regional leader when it comes to cloud computing. The territory also won the top slot on ACCA’s CRI this year.
According to the study addressing, data privacy matters was the single most important factor in moving Hong Kong up the ranks. In 2014, it scored 6.8 on data privacy. This time, Hong Kong succeeded in securing 9.5 on the same metrics. It also made significant improvements in international connectivity and data center risk management.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s broadband quality, data privacy, and pro-business regime helped it to become the second most 'cloud ready' country in Asia Pacific.
Sustained investments made in hard infrastructures such as cables, power and broadband combined with a far-sighted and pro-business regulatory environment has made Singapore a preferred destination for cloud business and data centers.
The only area of concern is freedom of information where it has fallen behind. It scored 6.0 on this measure down from 8.6 in 2014.
Other APAC countries in the top 10 include Australia (4th), Japan (5th), Taiwan (sixth) and the Philippines (ninth).
When ranked against their APAC counterparts, Germany, and the UK ranked 3rd, the US 5th; and Brazil, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) tied at 8th.
"The results put Asia in a very strong position to lead the next wave of global innovation and technology," said 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."
This is the first time that the 14-market Asia Pacific-focused study included a sample of six non-Asian markets for comparative analysis.
ACCA, however, said there are signs of an emerging intra-regional digital divide. The gap in cloud readiness between the top performers -- from Hong Kong to Malaysia -- and the bottom six -- from the Philippines to Vietnam -- is widening, even as the cloud computing becomes a mainstream technology across the region.
Comparing the cloud readiness of 14 economies over time also suggests that the gap in cloud readiness may be becoming entrenched. The top performers are now reaping the benefits of multi-year national digitization plans, including plans for gCloud, broadband, and other connectivity rollouts.