Hong Kong is increasingly becoming the North Asia data hub with many cloud service providers setting up data centers in the SAR, said Asia Cloud Computing Association recently when releasing its first Cloud Readiness Index.
While Japan is in the lead in terms of the use of cloud technologies, Hong Kong is ranked the second by the association in its index.
"World leading broadband penetration and excellent international connectivity, coupled with good policy governance, provides a strong platform for cloud adoption by HK government and local businesses," said a spokesperson of the Asia Cloud Computing Association.
As the world's third largest economy, Japan has proven itself ready to maximize the opportunities from cloud computing, said the association.
"Despite some concerns around global risk due to earthquake fault lines and the efficiency of doing business, Japan has established itself with a set of known regulations and conditions that encourage cloud computing," the spokesperson noted.
The Cloud Readiness Index is designed to track Asia's progress toward a complete spectrum of cloud computing-based infrastructures and services, according to the association in a statement. By mapping the conditions and criteria required for successful implementation and uptake, the association said it aims to identify potential bottlenecks that could slow adoption and threaten Asia's digital future.
The considerations that comprise the first release of the index focuses on are: regulatory conditions; international connectivity; data protection policy; broadband quality; government prioritization; power grid quality; Internet filtering; business efficiency index; global risk; and ICT development.
Singapore needs to work on data protection law
Both South Korea and Singapore occupy the third place in the index. According to the association, South Korea has an ambitious cloud strategy, with the government investing US$500 million to incubate the cloud for both public and private sector cloud initiatives, and raising their investment to US$2billion by 2014.
Their aim is to capture 10 per cent of the global cloud market by 2014 and achieve a 50 per cent reduction in IT infrastructure op-ex in the public sector by 2015, the association added.
While Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority and other government agencies understand the significance of the cloud to economic competitiveness, the country needs to speed up data protection law development.
China to invest US$154.5 billion in cloud
Securing the 8thplace, China's restrictive data protection laws currently prevent the building of a global cloud computing industry in the country, said the association.
But recent announcements by the Chinese government to invest US$154.5 billion to develop cloud computing hubs may well see China improve its index rating in the near future, the association noted.
For Asia to move forward in cloud computing, Per Dahlberg, founder and CEO of the Asia Cloud Computing Association said the region needs to harmonize policy and regulatory frameworks to promote effective trade in digital information and services. "Achieving that requires an active debate with an Asia focus. This is exactly what the new Cloud Readiness Index aims to stimulate," he noted.