The Cloud Year Ahead
If there’s one prediction we can make for 2013 it is that cloud computing will become even more critical to Asian businesses and governments.
The cloud is the number one priority for almost 40% of Asian business and governments polled recently by Frost & Sullivan. The research firm also predicts the regional cloud market will be worth $12.1 billion by 2016.
Given the potential to reduce business costs, improve productivity and enable innovation, cloud computing is increasingly being recognised as both a driver and differentiator of competitiveness. Many policy-makers and business leaders are already heavily engaged with cloud development – and we at ACCA believe that those that aren’t need to be.
That is where our Cloud Readiness Index 2012, released in November, comes in: providing both insights into the factors holding back cloud adoption, and to the strategies being adopted by leading cloud economies.
n this blog we will share reflections on developments in different countries throughout the year, and how these may affect, or are affecting, cloud adoption and cloud ‘readiness’ across Asian economies.
Broadband as enabler
One of the biggest obstacles in the region currently is broadband quality. While countries such as Korea and Japan regularly come in at the top of global broadband rankings, a number of emerging economies are still struggling to improve speed and coverage.
In the Index, four countries - India, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam – scored below three points out of ten for their broadband quality. Malaysia and China scored below four. Most of these countries are pushing ahead with broadband deployment programmes of various kinds, but without extraordinary investment programmes or innovative approaches to the issue, it will continue to be a bottleneck in 2013 and for some time to come. Ironically, of course, these markets represent some of the fastest growing mobile economies – both in adoption and usage – in the world. Looking to enable cloud benefits via mobile populations is just one approach many of our members are currently working on.
Data as Currency
Another issue vital to our members, and the cloud ecosystem at large, is data sovereignty – the question of who owns cloud-stored data, and under whose jurisdiction it falls. The cloud business is inherently cross-border, and businesses will hesitate to store their data in countries that lack solid and predictable legal framework.
Many governments in the region understand the concerns around this issue and are moving to address them. But in some markets, such as Thailand and Indonesia, the level of legal protection remains especially uncertain or unclear. Again, learning from developments in other economies, and the benefits that this brings, we believe to be a sensible first step to providing clarification.
Facilitating Constructive Engagement
As a collaborative forum of cloud thought leaders, the ACCA works to address cloud adoption challenges throughout the region. Engagement and dialogue is a very important aspect of our work, and we remain keen, as a group, to engage with authorities around the region on these and other issues.