PH improves to 10th place in Asia cloud readiness index

The Philippines has moved up two places to the 10th spot in the 2014 edition of the Asia Cloud Computing Association’s Cloud Readiness Index (CRI).

cloud index 2014

This is the second time that the Philippines has jumped two notches after placing at the bottom of the standings in the inaugural edition of the survey, which covered 14 Asia Pacific countries.

Bernie Trudel, chairman of the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) which undertook the survey, said the Philippines has made a dramatic progress in the index.

“[I]t has been a big leap from the bottom of the table to tenth place — and at this rate, we could see the Philippines break into the top tier of ‘cloud ready’ countries in the next few years,” stated Trudel, who represents Cisco in the ACCA.

The executive cited the slow broadband speed and the high data center risks in the Philippines as two of the factors that pulled the country down in the standings.

The 2014 edition of the CRI — the third since 2011 — finds the Philippines in the group of “Dedicated Improvers,” joining Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia.

The two other groups that make up the 2014 index are the “Ready Leaders” that counts countries such as Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea as members, and the group of the “Steady Developing” countries that includes China, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam.

The “Ready Leaders” are those countries with robust IT infrastructure and regulatory framework already in place while “Steady Developing Countries” are countries that are steadily developing their technology policies and physical infrastructure.

“In a region where one has to run to keep pace, this group of countries have been making strategic progress to retain their places in this middle band,” said May-Ann Lim, executive director of the ACCA.

“The Philippines has a lead around freedom of information access; Taiwan in international connectivity and business sophistication; Thailand in power grid and green energy, and Malaysia for having a low risk to data centers.”

In the latest survey, the Philippines came ahead of Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and China.

ACCA said the Philippines could learn from the regulatory experience of more advanced users of cloud computing and to identify and harness its niche industry sectors.

Some of the niche cloud computing-enabled sectors that can be explored are business process outsourcing (BPO) analytics and data visualization and financial services.

“The Philippines has a huge opportunity to leverage cloud computing to bring further innovation to niche sector activities where it has a global competitive advantage, such as business process outsourcing,” said Trudel.

As it is, ICT spending in the Philippines is expected to hit 11 percent in 2014, and the cloud and BPO sectors in the Philippines are flourishing.

In 2013, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas estimated the BPO industry export revenues at $13.34 billion. This is expected to expand further by 15 percent to $15.34 billion in 2014.

The “Ready Leader” countries have retained their leads in Asia Pacific by fostering innovation and fresh approaches towards next generation and cloud computing services.

South Korea and Hong Kong have been consistently delivering excellent broadband qualities to their citizens; Singapore and Japan have impressive scores in protecting intellectual property; and Australia and New Zealand both have all-of-government “cloud first” approaches towards cloud adoption.

As all Asian countries improve on their cloud awareness and readiness, the “Steady Developing” countries are far from standing still — many of the countries in this band have been steadily developing their technology policies and physical infrastructure surely and steadily.

China’s “Broadband China” policy is expected to provide nationwide coverage by 2020; various cities in Vietnam have been quietly rolling out city-wide free Wi-Fi services; India launched “Meghraj”, a national cloud e-government initiative; and Indonesia has been seeing good traction with its tax e-billing system.

Japan, consistent with its steady scores from the previous index, remains the most cloud-ready country in the Asia Pacific region, while as a whole, cloud readiness has improved across the Asia Pacific region.

The countries’ cloud readiness are assessed against 10 criteria, namely privacy; international connectivity; data sovereignty; broadband quality; government regulatory environment and usage; power grid and green policy; intellectual property protection; business sophistication; data center risk; and freedom of information.

The Asia Pacific countries showing the most progress moved up four places each — New Zealand (ranked 2nd), Australia (ranked 3rd) and Thailand (ranked 9th).

Meanwhile, South Korea (ranked 6th) and India (ranked 13th) fell by four places, posting the biggest drops among the countries covered by the index.

Hong Kong (ranked 5th) and Taiwan (ranked 7th) also fell by two places while China (ranked 11th), Indonesia (ranked 12th) and Vietnam (ranked 14th) all dropped by one place in the index.