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Interest in adopting sovereign cloud services for regulatory compliance and data control reasons looks set to soar among enterprises in the coming years, suggests data from the Capgemini Research Institute.
According to the Institute’s The journey to cloud sovereignty: Assessing cloud potential to drive transformation and build trust report, there is already a degree of concern among enterprise leaders about using public cloud services that could expose their data to overseas governments.
In a poll of 1,000 enterprise leaders from 10 countries, including Australia, France, Germany, India and the UK and US, 69% of respondents cited potential exposure to extra-territorial laws when using cloud as being a top concern.
A similar percentage (68%) also expressed misgivings about the lack of transparency and control over what is done with their data in the cloud, while 67% said they had concerns about their organisations developing “operational dependency” on cloud suppliers based overseas.
In line with this, 71% said they believe their organisations will look to adopt sovereign cloud services to ensure compliance with regulations or to bring in controls and transparency over how their data is handled (67%). Meanwhile, 65% said “ensuring immunity from extra-territorial data access” was a priority for them.
Digging into the data a little more, nearly half (48%) of public sector organisations who responded to the poll said they are already considering the use of a sovereign cloud services provider or planning to add one to their roster of tech suppliers in the next 12 months.
Participants in the Capgemini Research Institute’s poll were also asked what they expect their enterprise’s cloud environment will look like over the next three years, with more than one-third (38%) stating they expect to be running an exclusively public or hybrid cloud setup.
A further 30% of respondents said they anticipate they will be relying on a hyperscaler with a local public cloud datacentre to host their workloads, whereas 11% said they plan to work exclusively with cloud providers based in the same legal jurisdiction as them.
Marc Reinhardt, head of public sector at Capgemini, said the availability of sovereign cloud services could help enterprises who still harbour cloud data security concerns feel more at ease about using off-premise services.
“In our current environment, the sovereignty of one’s supply chain and IT has become truly strategic,” he said. “For those organisations currently still reluctant to leverage the obvious benefits of the cloud, sovereignty is a way to get there.
“As a result, it is gaining importance across sectors and regions, to enable organisations to control and protect their data to an even greater extent – for the public sector, with emphasis on trust, transparency, choice and portability. It is not a surprise that government and public sector bodies are among the leaders in pursuing or considering a sovereign cloud in their organisations.
“In designing their cloud strategies, organisations should not just focus on compliance requirements but also have a true ‘enterprise view’ of their data,” said Reinhardt. “In so doing, they will fully reap the benefits from sovereign cloud, including trust, collaboration and innovation for even the most sensitive of data areas, and build a competitive advantage or better service for their constituents.”