COMMUNICASIA, SINGAPORE--Asia's cloud computing standards are set to receive a boost with a new "Cloud Readiness Index" released Tuesday by the Asia Cloud Computing Association.
The index, which comprises 10 attributes including regulatory conditions, international connectivity, and data protection policy and development, measures the deployment of and use of cloud computing technology across 14 countries in the region. The markets include China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
The association said these conditions can help to "identify potential bottlenecks" that may hinder the development of cloud technologies in the region.
Bernie Trudel, chairman of the Asia Cloud Computing Association and cloud CTO at Cisco Asia-Pacific, said the index can help governments better understand 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".
The association also highlighted that while small and midsized businesses (SMBs) in the region are slow to adopt cloud technologies, it has the potential to "incubate innovation" in this sector. It hopes that the new set of indices can help governments formulate better policies in helping both large and small enterprises capitalize on the technology.
During a panel discussion on cloud computing at the CommunicAsia summit, industry executives welcomed the index but stressed that focus must be placed on delivering a good user experience.
Juan-Jose Juan, global head of enterprise innovation at Vodafone Global Enterprise, explained that while the cloud is a "beautiful technology", user experience is key to making the technology successful.
He cited phone manufacturers selling Facebook-centric smartphones as an example, highlighting that the social network giant's easy interface has helped it gain popularity, and hardware vendors are now looking to capitalize on its success.
Steve McWhirter, senior vice president of enterprise sales at Salesforce.com, concurred. "You didn't have to learn to use Facebook. But internal programs rolled out by companies require employees to spend hours getting them familiarized with the system. That's just how [they were] designed," he said.
Juan reiterated that cloud computing should be an "enabler" and cloud providers need to look at how to simplify user experience for a more successful implementation.
When asked which countries' policies and infrastructure are conducive for cloud services, panelists agreed that Singapore, Australia and Japan are ahead of the pack.
With the rise in popularity of tablets, the executives also voiced concerns on how companies can effectively manage mobility, given that employees are using personal tablets to access company data.