Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and the Philippines are the biggest improvers in the latest Asia Cloud Computing Associations (ACCA) Cloud Readiness Index 2014.
Each of Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand jumped four places ahead of its previous ranks, taking them to third, second, and ninth ranking respectively. The Philippines moved up two places for the third consecutive time. Between 2011 and 2014 the Philippines has now moved from bottom of the table to tenth.
The ACCA noted that a common factor creating an improvement in cloud readiness amongst these countries is an overreaching ICT and cloud policy plan. For example, the New Zealand government's focus on building out its ICT Strategy and Action Plan 2017 will be key to creating a pro-cloud environment for businesses.
Similarly, the ACCA said Australia's maturing legal and investment climate for cloud operations will improve business sophistication, and a more pro-business IT environment.
"Government has generally been tentative in its adoption of cloud computing, sending conflicting signals to the market," said Lim May-Ann, ACCA executive director.
"A proactive government-led cloud-first policy will have profound and productive implications right across the economy — as we are now seeing from the policies adopted by the successful economies."
Leading the Asia Pacific region in cloud readiness, however, continues to be Japan for the third time running, the Index showed.
The Index showed South Korea and India recorded the largest falls, tumbling four spots. This is the lowest ever ranking for South Korea with the ACCA saying it's a "cautionary tale demonstrating the speed which Asia Pacific is developing".
This was followed by Hong Kong and Taiwan, dropping two places, and China, Indonesia, and Vietnam, which fell by one place.
Asia Cloud Computing Association chairman Bernie Trudel said this is not indicative of declining cloud readiness but is rather, a demonstration of the speed at which Asia is developing.
"In a region where you have to run just to keep pace, these countries will need to keep their eyes on the goalposts to stay the course," he said.
The Index assesses countries against ten indicators: privacy, data sovereignty, international connectivity, broadband quality, government regulatory environment and usage, power grid and green policy, intellectual property protection, business sophistication, data centre risk, and freedom of information access.
According to ACCA, through these assessments, the Index has uncovered the Asia Pacific economies are separating into three distinct cloud readiness groups: ready leaders, dedicated improvers, and steady developing.
Ready Leaders compromise of Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea, whose strengths are a combination of delivering quality broadband, protecting intellectual property, and having a whole-of-government cloud computing policies.
The next group included Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, while China, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam made up the final collection of "steady developers".
The ACCA said the group of steady developers have been developing in terms of tech policies and physical infrastructures. For example, various cities in Vietnam have rolled out the availability of free Wi-Fi that could potentially stimulate demand for cloud services.