Malaysia Moving Steadily Toward Cloud

By Roger Strukhoff, Sys-Con Media

Malaysia seems to be moving steadily toward cloud computing, at least according to results of the latest Cloud Maturity Index study conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of WMware’s Singapore office.

Of the 158 Malaysian companies surveyed, 64% respondents said they have deployed or are actively planning cloud initiatives. Insurance companies led the way among current deployers with 67% reporting current cloud initiatives. The education sector led among groups planning to deploy, with a positive response rate of 69%.

Among all respondents, 43% use or are considering a combination of private and public clouds, with 30% favoring private clouds only. Four in five of the companies said that smartphones and tablets will be driving significant traffic through their cloud deployments.

The Cloud Maturity Index surveyed more than 6,000 organizations in eight countries: Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Interviewees were senior business and IT decisionmakers.

Cloud Readiness

These results can be viewed in context with research earlier this year by Asia Cloud, a non-profit based in Hong Kong. This organization’s Cloud Readiness Index, which considered more than a dozen factors, ranked Malaysia in seventh place in Asia.

It followed Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. But it led its more directly comparable neighbors: China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Tau Index Ranking

Malaysia emerges as a star performer overall in the Tau Index research I’ve been conducting over the past year. In my research, I weigh a number of technology and social measurements into a recipe that delivers a “pound-for-pound” ranking of national ICT expenditures.

This approach measures dynamism and torque – rather than raw spending power – so tends to favor highly aggressive, developing economies. Malaysia has been highly committed to economic development through technological commitment for a couple of decades now, and is no longer considered to be a developing nation by many measures.

Nevertheless, in the Southeast Asian region, it trails only Vietnam in my rankings. It is also ranks in the world’s Top 20.

What merits this distinction? Start with its national ICT spend of US$22 billion, which represents almost 12% of its overall economy – compare this to 7.3% in the US. Adjust that total for local cost-of-living (which is low compared to highly developed countries), and Malaysia’s annual ICT spend represents 23.4% of its economy.

This ranks second in the world, behind only Bangladesh, which is committing serious resources to IT relative to its still-impoverished population.

I also factor income disparity and corruption against these raw numbers – the worse the news in these categories, the more the ranking is impacted. Malaysia maintains a very high level of income disparity, and mediocre corruption perception.

I also factor bandwidth into the mix; Malaysia’s relatively modest network bandwidth ranks it only 60th in the world.

Not Quite There

This mixed bag results in a strong overall ranking for Malaysia within the Tau Index. The country has its shortcomings, to be sure, but is clearly headed in the right direction. It’s the prototype “not-quite-highly-developed” nation. It also leads the pack among its immediate neighbors, with the exception of the wealthy Singaporean city-state.

Malaysia’s status as a not-quite-highly-developed nation is further reflected in the Cloud Readiness Index.

And I expect to receive additional, country-specific Cloud Maturity Index data from VMware soon, which will enable me to draw a contrast between Malaysia and its Asian brethren.