The Asia Cloud Computing Association (Asia Cloud) is launching a "Cloud Readiness Index" designed to track the region's progress towards a complete spectrum of cloud computing-based infrastructures and services. By mapping the conditions and criteria required for successful implementation and uptake, the association aims to identify potential bottlenecks that could slow adoption and threaten Asia's digital future.
The new "Cloud Readiness Index" will analyse 10 key attributes critical to the deployment and use of cloud computing technology across 14 different countries. That includes the region's acknowledged economic engine, China, as well as Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
To further support the discussion the association is also launching a Cloud Map on its web site that will graphically illustrate the current state of the cloud debate – charting and analyzing the issues, the stakeholders and influencers and how the debate is developing.
According to Bernie Trudel, Chairman of the Asia Cloud Computing Association and Cloud CTO at Cisco APAC, the new index will be particularly relevant to governments as they are charged with creating the conditions for success – in their countries, around the region and across the globe.
"National public policy makers are starting to understand the benefits of this new IT delivery model and how it can make their countries more competitive. However, they might not necessarily yet understand the issues that underpin cloud computing, or the impact that policy decisions, such as data privacy or intellectual property protection, can have on the success or otherwise of cloud computing," said Trudel.
The attributes that comprise the first release of the index include:
1. Regulatory conditions
2. International connectivity
3. Data protection policy
4. Broadband quality
5. Government prioritization
6. Power grid quality
7. Internet filtering
8. Business efficiency index
9. Global risk
10. ICT development
"Cloud computing is poised to help accelerate the momentum around trade and economic integration here in Asia. However, to realize this potential, the region needs to harmonize the policy and regulatory frameworks to facilitate effective trade in digital information and services. It is therefore necessary to have an active debate with an Asia focus. This is what Asia Cloud is aiming for in terms of its overall mission and with the Cloud Readiness Index," said Per Dahlberg, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Association. "
Worldwide spending on cloud services is expected to reach US$150 billion by 2014 and spending on cloud computing is predicted to reach 30-40 per cent of IT budgets by 2013.
"The knowledge economy will fuel Asia's future. The cloud is the next great 'leveler'. A general-purpose technology, it lowers the barriers to entry, reduces costs by converting cap-ex to op-ex, and allows flexibility for scale and deployment," he said.
The impact of cloud computing is potentially huge. The Centre for Economics and Business Research states in a recent study that it will create 2.3 million new jobs across Europe's top five economies between 2010-2015. The World Economic Forum (WEF) says in its' 2011 report that many believe the impact to become equal to or exceed that of mobile technologies.
The Asia Cloud working group that developed the Cloud Readiness Index believes it could well incubate innovation right across the region's economy, especially in Asia's massive SME sector.
"Cloud Computing offers significant opportunities for local industries. It attracts investments and overseas businesses and provides a significant boost to e-government initiatives. Countries with the most insightful, transparent and fair regulatory environments will be the most successful in capitalizing on this new opportunity," said John Galligan, Vice Chairman of the working group and Regional Director, Internet Policy at Microsoft.
"The indications for Asia are good but there is still room for action with a recent research report revealing that Asia is lagging behind the US and Europe in cloud adoption. Moreover, while larger Asian businesses are embracing cloud services, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are slow to embrace the cloud. There is a huge opportunity to help narrow this gap and Asia Cloud hopes that the new Cloud Readiness Index will help governments and businesses – large and small - to continue to capitalize on the opportunities that cloud computing offers," he said.
About the Asia Cloud Computing Association
The Asia Cloud Computing Association fosters collaboration and innovation in Asia to drive adoption of cloud computing regionally. Asia Cloud's outreach efforts extend to policy and regulation, security, best practices, and market education. Members include Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, CPC CITIC, Cisco Systems, CloudGarage, EMC Corporation, Genetic Finance, Huawei, Microsoft, NetApp, Nokia Siemens Networks, PLDT/Smart, Rackspace, Telstra International, Telenor, and Verizon. For more information, visit www.asiacloud.org. For membership please contact firstname.lastname@example.org