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New Zealand Earthquakes highlight the risks of prioritising data sovereignty over cloud benefits: Should common sense prevail?

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New Zealand Earthquakes highlight the risks of prioritising data sovereignty over cloud benefits: Should common sense prevail?

Data sovereignty is a hot topic in cloud computing, particularly among governments and public sector organisations that are often mandated to store their data in-country due to security concerns. But given the significant advantages of the cloud and the recent outages in government services following the New Zealand earthquakes, should governments change their tune?

Data sovereignty has come to light because many cloud providers store their data offshore. They do this because they benefit from the significant economies of scale that result from building vast datacentres. This means they can provide services at a fraction of the cost of the equivalent on-premise services. It also dramatically improves disaster recovery because they can mirror their servers to multiple locations around the world. That level of business continuity is a significant benefit to cloud computing and is something that most organisations could never replicate themselves.

The 7.8 magnitude quake that struck New Zealand on November 14th left many government departments and corporates out of action for days, including the New Zealand Defence Force HQ, Statistics NZ, NZ Post and Bank of New Zealand. And with another quake registering 6.0 just a week later, on November 22nd, disruption has continued.

In this situation the fact that data is stored offshore is a huge advantage. Assuming cloud providers can reassure customers of their security credentials and data encryption technologies, I see no reason why offshore data should still be seen as a disadvantage.

If more people thought of public cloud for its benefits in disaster preparedness and business continuity, then these policies about data sovereignty would soon be discarded.

| Categories: Software Asset Management (SAM) | Tags: new zealand, earthquake, new zealand earthquake 2016, disaster recovery, business continuity, cloud computing | View Count: (2314) | Return

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