Since cloud services have become widespread, organizations and cloud providers alike have struggled with the issue of data sovereignty.
Critical business functions are constantly moving to the cloud, fueling a tide of cloud-first initiatives. The widespread adoption of cloud technology by organizations of all sizes has created new markets for cloud providers that might not have made sense just a few years ago.
IT departments worldwide invest time and resources in managing endpoint data in the post-COVID environment. For example, IT teams must assist in transferring data from the old laptop to the new one when an employee is assigned a new one. IT must restore data from a backup to resume operations if a branch office server goes down. Many organizations are moving their primary data storage from endpoint devices to the cloud as data is stored in the cloud and more and more endpoint devices act as extensions.
With enterprise data now distributed across more locations than ever before, data sovereignty presents a unique set of issues. The same data set can be subject to different laws depending on where it resides or where it is collected. A distributed computing model—where data often moves from one area of the organization to another—must consider the legal and financial implications when data crosses international borders.
Backup and disaster recovery come to mind as considerations for companies located in different countries that may want to share data across multiple regions. Many cloud service providers automatically move the data to the nearby data center. To protect privacy or for legal reasons, an organization may want to restrict some data types to a single region.
Also read: The need for improved collaboration tools in the post-COVID future
Regional data sovereignty
It is important to note that while sovereignty typically revolves around country-level standards, there has been a noticeable increase in demand for independent nations to band together due to their proximity to one another to establish regional sovereign clouds. Governments must make significant financial commitments that they must spend over a period of time to subsidize clouds at the country level. It is one of the factors that supposedly makes sovereignty more workable at the regional level than at the individual country level.
The physical distance between the data center and the customer is important, and many cloud providers have established data centers in multiple regions to accommodate these data management needs. For example, to maximize security and performance, companies want to store their data locally, in their own country or even in their own city due to latency issues.
Strategic data sovereignty
Every piece of data has to be somewhere. Given that the goal of cloud computing is to provide anytime, anywhere access to data and systems, this can be counterintuitive. This could be particularly difficult in countries with the strictest data sovereignty laws.
Also read: Citizen developers are critical to filling the growing tech talent gap
Technologists, data owners, and governments must work together to determine what is acceptable and compliant in the face of data sovereignty challenges, including control over where that data resides and is shared, ownership of data, and privacy. Cloud providers will continue to provide solutions and best practices as they become available as more organizations seek cloud computing solutions that are already designed to address the specific sovereignty challenges they face.
Check out the new Enterprisetalk podcast. For more updates like this, follow us on Google News Enterprisetalk News.