Digital Sovereignty

Many governments are implementing digital sovereignty regulations that govern digital operations and cloud use. Businesses and public sector organizations should develop a comprehensive digital sovereignty strategy and evaluate sovereign cloud solutions to address evolving regulatory requirements.

What is digital sovereignty?

Digital sovereignty refers to the regulations that specify how organizations manage their digital assets, including their use of the cloud. Organizations may require data to remain within a certain jurisdiction and specify how it must be managed. Other areas of regulation include technical portability, operations, and in-country business continuity. Digital sovereignty is complex; laws rapidly evolve and can vary widely in different jurisdictions. Sovereign cloud solutions are evolving alongside these regulatory changes to address the growing demand for digital sovereignty.

A range of cloud solutions can help address digital sovereignty needs

The commercial public cloud can address some aspects of digital sovereignty. For example, organizations may store their data in a cloud region within their country to satisfy data residency requirements. Many organizations, however, find they need more-specialized sovereign cloud capabilities to meet regulatory requirements while using sensitive data and applications in the cloud. When evaluating sovereign cloud solutions, it’s critical to understand the capabilities of different sovereign cloud solutions.

Capabilities that address digital sovereignty requirements

Customers can use a variety of sovereign cloud capabilities to help them address digital sovereignty requirements.

Digital sovereignty needs differ

Organizations have widely different digital sovereignty requirements. Cloud providers must be able to offer a range of cloud solutions to address their customers’ specific and localized needs. These solutions include clouds restricted to operations in a specific country or a specific geography, clouds dedicated to a single organization, clouds for use by ministries of a single government, and clouds for use by defense and intelligence organizations. By offering each country and each organization its own cloud, cloud providers put the benefits of the cloud and greater digitalization within reach for users across the world.

A common cloud platform enables digital sovereignty

Cloud providers that add sovereign cloud capabilities to their public cloud platform shouldn’t compromise the functional, operational, and economic benefits their customers already receive. Sovereign cloud solutions should provide a common platform to users with the same experience as commercial public clouds. Cloud providers should offer the same services, usage rates, support, and service level agreements as an extension of their existing commercial programs and business relationships. In this way, organizations can use their existing skills, processes, and tooling as they adopt sovereign cloud solutions.

Digital sovereignty by design

Most global, hyperscale public clouds have been designed for security but not sovereignty. The autonomy necessary for digital sovereignty can be difficult to achieve using clouds with large, general-use regions in a globally connected network. Cloud solutions architected with sovereignty in mind can more easily offer these protections. For example, several providers, including Oracle, have created separate cloud regions for sensitive data used by the US government. Separating these regions strengthens protections against unauthorized user access and data movement. Operating them separately simplifies addressing compliance frameworks.

Digital sovereignty use cases

  • Organizations protecting personal information

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union is just one of a growing set of local data privacy and protection laws that govern how organizations must store and handle personal identifiable information (PII). Sovereign cloud solutions can help organizations responsibly manage this data in the cloud to address digital sovereignty requirements.

  • Regulated industries requiring the protection of sensitive data

    Many companies are subject to digital sovereignty regulations specific to their industry, such as the European Union’s Digital Operational Resilience Act, which applies to financial organizations. A sovereign cloud enables organizations to innovate in the cloud while addressing the compliance requirements arising from digital sovereignty regulations.

  • Global organizations operating in multiple jurisdictions

    A company operating in different locations must comply with the different local digital sovereignty regulations in each of the jurisdictions. A sovereign cloud can help global organizations manage and navigate the dynamic and emerging global digital sovereignty landscape.

  • Public sector and government agencies operating in the cloud

    Many governments have created specific guidance for how the public sector should operate in the cloud, such as FedRAMP in the US, Canada’s Protected B classification, or the Information System Security Management and Assessment Program in Japan. Sovereign cloud capabilities can help public sector organizations operate in accordance with local digital sovereignty compliance frameworks.

  • National and government clouds

    Governments have authorized services from cloud providers to be used for government workloads and sensitive data; examples include clouds that Oracle operates that are authorized for public sector use in the US, the UK, and Australia. Additionally, governments may more directly authorize a cloud service for workloads and industries of national interest to establish digital sovereignty—for example, the government cloud of the Sultanate of Oman.

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