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Data Sovereignty Strategies Embraced by 98% Of It Decision Makers in Europe and US, According to New Research

Scality announced the results of an independent survey of IT decision makers across FranceGermany, the UK, and the US about their data sovereignty strategies. 98% of organizations already have policies in place or have plans to implement them. To achieve data sovereignty, 49% of IT decision makers are using hybrid cloud or regional cloud service providers as an alternative to the public cloud.

137 out of 194 countries in the world have data protection and privacy legislation in place. As a result, many organizations must adhere to the data residency guidance and local regulations required for data collection and processing.

According to the survey — conducted by global technology market research firm Vanson Bourne — the vast majority of organizations across all four countries either have sovereignty regulations or policies in place to keep their data in specific locations (80%) or have plans to do so (18%). The report reveals minimal differences between France (where 81% of respondents have policies in place), Germany (79%), U.K. (82%), and U.S. (78%). Just 2% of respondents worldwide said they do not have sovereignty policies in place, nor do they plan to implement them.

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Cloud technologies will benefit from this trend, with IT teams employing a number of data storage strategies to achieve sovereignty. Across the four geographies, of the organizations that have sovereignty policies or plans:

  1. 40% primarily (will) store their data on a large public cloud, such as regional offerings by AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud
  2. 36% of respondents (will) deploy a combined on-premises/public cloud solution, i.e. hybrid cloud
  3. 13% (will) store their data with a regional cloud service provider
  4. 11% (will) use an on-premises data center.

While some large public cloud providers offer options to store data in specific regions, this isn’t suitable for many organizations that own highly sensitive data, or who wish to avoid vendor lock in and high data access or egress fees.

Hybrid cloud sovereignty emerges as viable strategy to meet regulations

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36% of respondents opted for a solution that combines on-premises or private cloud/s with public cloud/s. This hybrid cloud approach provides the flexibility and control to store data locally for data residency and sovereignty while providing the freedom to easily migrate data to a different platform at any time.

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Paul Speciale, chief marketing officer, Scality said: “It’s extremely encouraging to see that such a high number of organizations in the U.S. as well as Europe are taking data sovereignty seriously and have plans in place, including a significant shift toward hybrid-cloud strategies. This can certainly help organizations prevent cloud lock-in and provide safety in having data stored locally or in multiple locations. The surprisingly high results in the U.S. could be due to growing concerns regarding China’s strength in technology development.”

In the survey, detailed further in this blog, IT decision makers from several industries including manufacturing, telecom, professional services, financial services, and retail, were asked: “To what extent does your organization have sovereignty regulations or policies in place to keep your data in specific locations (e.g., local, in specific countries or regions)?” Respondents that currently have or are planning sovereignty regulations to keep data in specific locations were asked: “How are you primarily storing or planning to store the data?”

Key findings in the U.S. include:

  1. 78% of U.S. respondents have already adopted data sovereignty policies, and 21% have plans to do so. Just 1% said they do not plan to implement them
  2. In the U.S., organizations from the business and professional services (90%), and the manufacturing (86%) sectors are most likely to already have policies in place
  3. To implement sovereignty policies, 41% of U.S respondents (will) use a public cloud service, 33% hybrid cloud, 12% a regional service provider, and 14% an on-premises data center. Interestingly, compared to the other regions, the U.S. is most likely to opt for an on-premises data center (at 14% against a worldwide average of 11%)
  4. U.S. respondents from smaller organizations (1,000-2,999 employees) compared to larger organizations (3,000+ employees) are more likely to select a public cloud (43% vs 39%) or regional cloud service provider (14% vs 10%), and less likely to select a hybrid cloud (29% vs 36%) or on-premises data center (13% vs 15%).

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