Why UK data centres lead the world for UK businesses

(c)iStock.com/Tuomas Kujansuu

Today, many UK-based organisations face a significant set of data sovereignty challenges when they are considering moving their data to the cloud. Data residency and privacy rules and regulations differ from country to country, so users of cloud services need to think about the rules that cover each of the jurisdictions they operate in, as well as the rules that govern the treatment of data at the places where cloud service providers store their data. There are various merits of storing data within a UK data centre as opposed to an international location.

Data sovereignty laws

After France, Germany and several other EU governments proposed new data sovereignty laws which require all data to be stored locally, many enterprises have become increasingly concerned that these foreign governments will now request access to data stored in the cloud within their international border.

However, if enterprises choose a cloud within their domestic border, they are able to ensure data sovereignty. Research from Vanson Bourne discovered that 86 per cent of UK enterprise customers believe it’s important for business-critical data to be stored within a UK-based cloud provider.

Data stored in a UK-based multinational company can still be backed up elsewhere

By choosing a cloud provider that only stores its data in a UK location, customers have the ability to physically go and visit their data, as well as seeing where the backups and archives are kept, which remains perhaps a surprisingly common request for CIOs.

If data stored in the cloud is provided by a foreign multinational company, it can still be subject to the influence of foreign governments, and global cloud providers need to have safeguards in place to ensure data is never transferred cross-border around their data centres worldwide. Even if primary data may be stored in the UK, if the cloud provider back-ups or archives information in another country, data sovereignty is eroded.

Environmental risks

Knowing where the cloud provider is registered and headquartered as a business will greatly determine which laws your information will be subject to. Yet, environmental risks such as earthquakes and floods remain a key consideration for businesses that are cloud shopping. Although it’s considerably cheaper to store data in a location where these are likely to occur, the risks are rarely worth taking. Therefore, knowing where the data centre is physically located is an important factor to consider.

UK data centres can address both data sovereignty concerns whilst ensuring high availability, compliance and security. The reality is that no global cloud provider can provide the same peace of mind that a UK data centre offers UK businesses looking to keep important data secure.