S'pore's cloud readiness down 2 notches

Fall to 7th place out of 24 countries shows other nations have made faster improvements, says industry watchdog

Singapore has fallen from 5th to 7th in the latest worldwide ranking of "cloud readiness" - a measure of a country's support for the growing trend of cloud computing.

Even though the Republic had a higher raw score of 79.5, one point up from the previous report released in 2013, its improvement was outpaced by that of others.

Released yesterday, the report by global marketing industry watchdog Business Software Alliance (BSA) ranks 24 countries based on seven policy categories relating to cloud computing (see chart).

Cloud computing matters as it allows any party, be it a consumer or small firm, to access technology and services which may be otherwise too prohibitively expensive in terms of the servers and software required.

In the 2016 BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard, Singapore is the only Asian country in the top 10 after Japan, which kept its top position in the rankings.

The United States was second and Germany third. Malaysia was 13th, while China and Vietnam took the last two spots of 23rd and 24th respectively.

The 24 countries make up some 80 per cent of the world's IT market. The report was generated from 66 questions, which are given a weighted score reflecting its importance to cloud computing. They are then added up to provide a final score for each country.

BSA noted that the legal and regulatory environment for cloud computing in Singapore is not keeping pace with cloud innovation.

Mr Jared Ragland, BSA's senior director for policy in the Asia-Pacific, said the dip in ranking does not indicate a worsening of Singapore's cloud capabilities, but that others have made faster improvements.

He said: "Singapore hasn't enacted anything detrimental to the cloud computing environment, but it hasn't done much more in enhancing cloud policies either."

One thing that will affect the score for the next ranking is the review of Singapore's cyber security plan and legislation next year, said Mr Ragland.

He was referring to a new cyber security Bill aimed at strengthening laws against online crime, which will be tabled in Parliament next year.

He said Singapore's "minor" Internet censorship was an area which pulled its score down .

Singapore came in second among all 24 countries in IT infrastructure, scoring 23.5 for its IT readiness and broadband deployment.

Overall, only about one point separates Canada, in fourth place with 80.9 points, from Singapore in seventh, so small changes have an impact, said BSA.

Singapore pulled ahead of the curve in 2013 - the last time the report was released - as it had just passed the Personal Data Protection Act in 2012, which gave it points for data security.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore's cloud readiness down 2 notches'. Print Edition | Subscribe