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I had an interesting discussion recently with a key person at the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA), a consortium based in Singapore. The group is funded by companies such as Cisco, Microsoft, HP, EMC, Equinix, NetApp, several global and regional telcos, and many others.

The ACCA, in its words, provides a forum "to collaborate on the requirements of the Asia market from within, with expertise born of local knowledge." The organization, through the activity of its members, aims to "accelerate the growth of the cloud market regionally by helping remove obstacles and leveraging opportunities."

Among its activities is the annual publication of a region-wide Cloud Readiness Index. The report integrates and weighs from several sources, in ten areas: Data privacy, international connectivity, data sovereignty, broadband quality, government regulatory environment and usage, power grid and green policy, intellectual property protection, business sophistication, and data center risk.

Japan Leads The Way
Japan is the most highly ranked country among the 14 nations surveyed, followed by Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea. A middle group includes Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Rounding out the results are China, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam.

The report delves into detail about how it derived rankings in each category, what each nation is doing well and less well, and how each nation can continue to improve. Bandwidth is a big issue, something that is improving with more submarine cables (which deliver 98% of the region's bandwidth) coming online, and various national commitments to bringing broadband connectivity (as much as 100Mb) to a regional population that includes almost half of the people on earth.

It's not unexpected to see the survey's results closely follow income levels; the wealthier a nation, the more capable it should be to develop a strong IT infrastructure, and perhaps institute the freedoms of information flow and helpful governmental policies that enable continued development.

It's fun to contrast these results with the ongoing search we've been doing at the Tau Institute (which was founded in Asia). We take a relative approach, adjusting for income levels and socio-economic factors such as income disparity and perceived corruption. This tends to show less-wealthy countries as performing in a much more dynamic fashion than they appear in traditional ranking systems.

Another Look at Vietnam
So, for example, Vietnam is one of the star performers in our research. It ranks among the world's top 20 nations on a relative basis, having developed a robust IT infrastructure given its per-person income, which ranks 86thamong the 100+ nations we survey.

We also have Japan and South Korea in our global top 20, however, with South Korea slightly head, showing how tremendously well these nations have developed their IT, using their ample economic resources wisely.

China and Indonesia lag in our rankings as they do in the Cloud Readiness Index. India performs better in our ranking than with the Cloud Readiness Index, Thailand performs worse, with the Philippines and Malaysia doing well but not spectacularly so.

Several Measures
We have developed several different views of our data, measuring not only overall dynamics, but also technology-centric potential; a "Goldilocks Index" that shows whether a nation is too hot, too cool, or just right; an overall challenge index; and a look at what we call instantaneous dynamism, ie, how rapidly is each nation developing at the present moment.

That said, it's nice to see the amount of data and work that's gone into the Cloud Readiness Index. I would urge people in business, government, and NGOs to download the full report from the ACCA site - it's free of charge - as a way of learning a lot about what's going on in Asia.

With a strong infrastructure and solid policies in place, these nations can start to benefit mightily from learning more about cloud computing and how to design and deploy modern applications and services on a modern architecture.


 


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