The Importance of Data Sovereignty and Privacy in Cloud Platform Selection


With the channel experiencing significant changes due to various factors such as the ongoing pandemic, inflation, chip shortages, rising operational costs, and the shift to subscription models, companies are increasingly focusing on cost optimization and improving overall performance and services. As a result, businesses are reevaluating their cloud strategy to ensure it aligns with their specific business requirements. This includes considering factors like data sovereignty, data protection, and compliance with regulations such as the GDPR.

The Importance of Data Sovereignty and Privacy in Cloud Platform Selection

When choosing a cloud platform, data sovereignty and privacy are crucial factors to consider. According to recent statistics from the Digital Association Bitkom, 55 percent of companies are already using public cloud environments, with an additional 29 percent planning to do so. Among these companies, 36 percent have adopted a cloud-first strategy, and 11 percent rely solely on the cloud. The migration of workloads to the cloud offers the potential for cost savings, reduced carbon footprint, and enhanced IT security. Furthermore, the adoption of modern deployment models such as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a significant trend in this context.

Companies have concerns about losing control over the location and accessibility of their data when storing it in a public cloud. This is particularly problematic when it comes to personal information, as well as research findings, patents, corporate strategies, unpublished financial figures, and other trade secrets that must not fall into the wrong hands.

Data privacy is a crucial concern when it comes to using cloud services. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ensures the protection of personal data from misuse. The transfer of such information to third countries is only permitted if they have an adequate level of data protection. Until recently, this was not the case in the United States, as ruled by the European Court of Justice in the “Schrems I and II” cases. Additionally, US cloud providers can be compelled to disclose customer data under the CLOUD Act, even if it is stored outside the US. Therefore, organizations and regulatory bodies, such as the Datenschutzkonferenz, emphasize that storing personal data in US clouds without additional legal agreements is not compliant.

Many companies are opting to store and process sensitive and personal information in a Private Cloud. Alternatively, the Sovereign Cloud is gaining more significance, as it combines the advantages of Private and Public environments while meeting high requirements for data sovereignty and privacy. All data is stored and transmitted encrypted, with the keys being managed externally. The Cloud provider does not have direct access to business secrets or personal information. Additionally, applications and services must be easily portable to avoid vendor lock-in.

The choice of the right platform ultimately depends on the workload’s requirements from a business, technical, and legal perspective. Development environments or webshops require high flexibility and scalability, while other applications like ERP systems or financial accounting are more static and well-planned. On the other hand, applications involving machine and vehicle control rely on IT systems with quick response times and very low latency.

Private and sovereign cloud environments provide organizations with the ability to maintain complete control over their data and applications, ensuring the highest level of security. On the other hand, public cloud solutions offer superior scalability, availability, and flexibility. Moreover, public clouds provide a wide range of innovative services, including container solutions like Kubernetes, artificial intelligence, mobile applications, and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities. By carefully evaluating their specific needs and priorities, businesses can determine which type of cloud platform is best suited to meet their requirements.

A successful cloud strategy requires reliable partners. Companies should not be overwhelmed by the many options available when changing their cloud infrastructure. Making a categorical decision for or against a specific cloud form is rarely beneficial. Instead, a hybrid cloud model can be preferred, which combines resources from different cloud offerings based on demand. However, setting up and managing such a complex hybrid cloud environment that is secure, compliant, and privacy-conscious poses significant challenges.

Small and medium-sized businesses, as well as smaller system houses, may face challenges in hiring the necessary cloud experts, especially considering the shortage of skilled IT professionals. To address this issue, partnering with competent cloud providers becomes increasingly important to bring in external expertise. Trusted partners like vshosting not only offer services from various cloud options but also provide round-the-clock support and assist clients with consulting and migration services. This helps businesses develop, implement, and optimize a customized cloud strategy.

The selection of the right cloud platform provides companies with the opportunity to achieve cost savings, enhance IT security, reduce their CO₂ footprint, and maintain control over their data. Cloud technology plays a crucial role in digital transformation, enabling companies to be flexible and agile in meeting the ever-changing market demands. However, it is crucial for companies to consider their specific requirements and concerns regarding data sovereignty and privacy in order to develop the appropriate cloud strategy and engage trusted partners.

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