Asia's cloud computing industry group recently unveiled two initiatives that can help guide organisations in the region as they consider adopting cloud computing.
The Asia Cloud Computing Association introduced the 'Cloud Readiness Index' and 'Cloud Map' which provide relevant information that can help organisations decide how they may want to implement the cloud and even provide answers to some nagging questions that may be hindering them from jumping into the cloud.
The Index aims "to identify potential bottlenecks that could slow adoption and threaten Asia's digital future." It measures 10 key attributes that are "critical" in deploying and using cloud computing technology. These attributes include regulatory conditions, international connectivity, data protection policy, broadband quality, government prioritisation, power grid quality, Internet filtering, business efficiency index, global risk and ICT development.
Data for the Index attributes will be culled from 14 countries in the region, including China, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Cloud Map, on the other hand, will be a graphic illustration of the "current state of the cloud debate". Since cloud adoption in the region may still be contentious for some organisations, the map will chart and analyse the issues surrounding the cloud, and identify the stakeholders and influencers, and how the debate is developing.
Bernie Trudel, chairman, Asia Cloud Computing Association, and Cloud CTO, Cisco APAC, said the Index will also be useful to governments that are taken to task to pave the way for the smooth implementation of the cloud in the region.
"National public policy makers are starting to understand the benefits of this new IT delivery model and how it can make their countries more competitive. However, they might not necessarily yet understand the 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," said Trudel.
Worldwide spending on cloud computing is expected to reach 30 to 40 per cent of IT budgets by 2013, the industry association said.
In Asia, some organisations have yet to adopt the cloud. But the association believes that Asian organisations, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can benefit most from the technology.
Opportunities in Asia
In order for Asia to reap the benefits that can be derived from cloud adoption, the Association believes "the region needs to harmonise the policy and regulatory frameworks to facilitate effective trade in digital information and service."
Said Per Dahlberg, founder and chief executive officer, Asia Cloud Computing Association: "It is therefore necessary to have an active debate with an Asia focus. This is what Asia Cloud is aiming for in terms of its overall mission and with the Cloud Readiness Index."
"Cloud Computing offers significant opportunities for local industries. It attracts investments and overseas businesses and provides a significant boost to e-government initiatives. Countries with the most insightful, transparent and fair regulatory environments will be the most successful in capitalising on this new opportunity," said John Galligan, vice chairman of the association working group, and regional director, Internet policy, Microsoft.
"The indications for Asia are good but there is still room for action with a recent research report revealing that Asia is lagging behind the US and Europe in cloud adoption. Moreover, while larger Asian businesses are embracing cloud services, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are slow to embrace the cloud. There is a huge opportunity to help narrow this gap and Asia Cloud hopes that the new Cloud Readiness Index will help governments and businesses, large and small, to continue to capitalise on the opportunities that cloud computing offers," he said.