Thailand rises in Cloud Readiness Index
Thailand jumped one spot to ninth in the Cloud Readiness Index (CRI), thanks to improvement in international connectivity, data centre risk and privacy parameters, according to the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA).
In the sixth iteration of the association's CRI Index, which assessed 14 Asia-Pacific economies, Hong Kong stands in the pole position, up one spot from the 2018 index, followed by Singapore and New Zealand.
According to the ACCA, Thailand's rise is attributed to the country's efforts to boost international connectivity, data centre risk protection and privacy safeguards.
"Cloud infrastructure and cloud governance were its strongest segment," the report said.
The association said that while Thailand is on the verge of "leapfrogging" ahead of more mature economies in terms of robust and dynamic digital economy, the country faces a major challenge in its ability to develop laws and enforce regulations in a way that balances the protection of its national interests with transparency, openness and flexibility.
According to the report, several measures are causing concern among the business community, including the roll-out of the cybersecurity bill, which is designed to search and seize data and equipment in cases deemed "issues of national emergency".
The country's growth of the digital economy may not be a straightforward or balanced process, the report said. For example, small and local companies are smothered by tech giants who tend to hoard capital and the workforce.
The report recommends Thailand ensure that the country's digital business environment is built to strengthen the local tech startup ecosystem and "not just find the next tech unicorn".
The country must also ensure that laws and regulations would be a boon for investment and innovation and "avoid any potential misuses in the name of national security".
The ACCA suggests Thailand cultivate innovation across all sectors, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The country should focus on reskilling workforce in preparation for the future, it said.
The CRI 2020 is an index of the readiness of economies to maximise the capabilities of cloud computing, measuring cloud readiness against 10 parameters, including international connectivity, domestic broadband quality, power sustainability, data centre risk, cybersecurity, privacy regulations, government regulatory environment, intellectual property protection, business sophistication and freedom of information.
"The top-scoring group includes many economies that have done well in containing the spread of coronavirus," said Lim May-Ann, executive director of the ACCA. "We will be keeping a close watch on which economies leverage their strong cloud computing fundamentals to effect more rapid economic recovery."