The adoption of cloud computing has displaced decades of on-premise, centralized corporate data centers. This approach permits data to be widely distributed across cloud providers, seamlessly carrying data through international borders. 2020 was a great example of why we’re witnessing these heightened cloud trends. While many companies already had plans to digitize their business, the pandemic required them to act immediately, forcing cloud-based infrastructure to take-off as the key to digital business offerings.
Simultaneously, private and public cloud options have complemented traditional on-premise architectures, resulting in hybrid cloud strategies that allow data and apps to move between two environments. Essentially, a hybrid cloud platform gives organizations a higher level of control, flexibility, deployment, security and compliance. However, they also deliver a new level of complexity, which comes with its own set of challenges, especially when customers try to change their cloud for sensitive workloads, build short-term solutions, and apply band-aids on critical issues.
So, how can we best utilize a cloud approach while staying ahead of challenges such as data residency compliance?
Increasing country-specific data regulations
For many use cases, including multinational organizations that are required to store data in specific locations for regulatory reasons, a distributed cloud approach is the best bet. Referred to by Gartner as the ‘next generation of cloud computing,’ the distributed cloud is the first cloud model to incorporate physical location of cloud-delivered services.
Currently, more than 130 countries have enacted individual data privacy laws. As more and more countries implement data residency regulations, the process of being and staying compliant is becoming increasingly complex. That’s why a distributed cloud, one that integrates appropriately to the central cloud and allows enterprises to extend their applications and serve customers in different locations without impacting their system, is the answer. This reduces a business’s necessary spend on utilizing multiple central clouds, rebuilding data stacks, or building a hybrid cloud themselves.
Data residency and data localization challenges are best solved with a distributed cloud model. Data residency is a complex problem that seems easy to solve on the surface, but it’s proven to be just the opposite.
In an attempt to ensure compliance, enterprises often look to hyperscale cloud providers like Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft’s Azure, in the country they’re hoping to operate in and build their own integrations and workarounds. But if they’re building this in the UK, for example, it’s difficult to replicate this application in other countries, like Singapore. In reality, they’re just spending time creating an unsustainable solution that isn’t scalable across localities, all while still lacking the necessary compliance expertise. These enterprises end up replicating or moving more data than required, resulting in copies of the data being spread across the cloud, which are then hard to manage and protect, and ultimately lead to bigger bills in the central cloud.
Data Residency-as-a-Service is the ultimate distributed cloud approach
Rather than providing a centralized solution for everything, a distributed cloud can meet each specific customer and country requirement. It also gives enterprises the ability to properly use their original investments in existing central clouds while executing a unified cloud strategy for location-based data needs. This is especially important when customers are looking to utilize SaaS solutions that depend on central clouds since they often can’t easily localize data independently.
Hybrid clouds were originally intended to enable a unified strategy. Yet, enterprises continue to struggle to get the level of value they initially expected out of their private cloud deployments, especially in compliance-centric use cases where ongoing research and expertise is needed. However, enterprises can now consider a distributed cloud-based offering such as ‘Data Residency-as-a-Service’ to meet global compliance standards.
As businesses look to expand into new countries that require data sets to be localized in different regions, it’s essential to stay ahead of these challenges or they risk losing business in the region altogether.
Ultimately, a distributed SaaS platform with data localization and residency compliance woven into the software provides a quick and compliance-centric solution. This approach efficiently extends enterprise applications and ensures compliance with local data regulations in each respective location.