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Australia and NZ fall behind in cloud race

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Australia and New Zealand’s limited international connectivity has cast a shadow over both market’s cloud computing competitiveness against their Asian neighbours.

According to the Cloud Readiness Index (CRI), an annual study produced by the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA), Australia has slipped three positions in the rankings due to its perceived limited international bandwidth, where it ranked second last.

While Australia scores highly in data privacy and data sovereignty its overall competitiveness in the cloud stakes sees it trail Japan, which secured top ranking followed by Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore Taiwan and New Zealand.

The report recommended that due to the limited availability of offshore capacity, the Australian government should consider subsidies, tax credits or other incentives to increase connectivity to the rest of the region.

The poor Asia Pacific ranking, comes just weeks after the release of the Australian government white paper ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ which positions Australia’s National Broadband Network a key trump card in accelerating economic and technology traction through the Asian markets. "It is a platform that will underpin our engagement with Asian countries and allow Australia to realise the enormous potential of our region," said Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.

The ACCA report praised New Zealand, which out ranked Australia, as continuing to offer an attractive environment for cloud computing. “Cloud investments are going into Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton and, in what appears to be a world first, the industry is developing a voluntary code of practice,” the report notes.

The ACCA also urged New Zealand to make the expansion of international bandwidth a priority. “A number of new trans-Pacific cables are being proposed – the government and the cloud industry can help by lending support to at least one of these,” the report states.

The Index examines 14 countries and markets using ten different measures, covering regulatory issues such as data protection, infrastructure areas such as broadband and the broader business and government environment.

“The Index can measure governments own progress and also their ability to attract foreign investment in cloud services and platforms,” said ACCA CEO Per Dahlberg.

Meanwhile VMware and Forrester Consulting’s Annual Cloud Maturity Index, found that cloud computing adoption among Australian organisation is ramping up with 58 per cent making the cloud move, up from 43 per cent this time last year. While 57 per cent of Australian organisations claim they are making plans to adopt cloud-based solutions or approaches, within the next 18 months. ®

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