Today, we live in a world where a sense of mutual responsibility is all around us. Every day each of us encounters a broad range of socio-economic issues – from the climate crisis, and social activism, to workers’ rights and the right to privacy – that makes us ponder our contribution to society as a whole, and how it evolves.
That sense of responsibility to one another is profoundly impacting the corporate world, and directly impacting the type of organizations that people want to buy from, engage with and work for. Businesses now need to show that they are environmentally sustainable, demonstrate good governance and take a stand on social justice issues. In short, to act in a way that benefits society first and foremost if they are to enjoy business success.
At VMware, we want to continue our role as a enabler and accelerator of such ESG initiatives through the success of our partners. Our values are centred around building and protecting trust with all stakeholders, and that’s why we continue to work with partners to deliver technologies to customers that helps them hold themselves to the highest transparency and governance standards.
One way we are doing this is through our engagement with Tietoevry, the first cloud service provider to receive the VMware Sovereign Cloud designation in the Nordics. The work that Tietoevry is doing is a great example of how partners can help customers leverage technology frameworks such as sovereign cloud so they can realize their governance goals.
But before we get into that, let’s start by unpacking the complex governance requirements customers have to navigate today:
The governance conundrum
The growth of the data economy presents exciting opportunities for public and private sector organizations; from more well-informed decision-making, and a more comprehensive understanding of customer needs, to generating deeper insights that drive business success.
To capitalize quickly on this expansive data, lines of business are constantly looking to IT to deliver next-gen services and apps to gain a competitive advantage, and deliver for citizens. All of which requires IT to deploy the right applications and the right data into the right cloud – whether private, hybrid or native public cloud – while also aligning with local sovereignty, privacy and regulatory requirements.
That isn’t easy. Organizations today face the countless roadblocks to the distribution of data between one another, especially beyond national boundaries and across public and private clouds. Geopolitical upheaval and conflicting regulations, for instance, mean they have to understand where their data resides more than ever, and the true nature of that data, too. There’s also growing recognition that it’s their full responsibility – and obligation – as data owners to protect and secure it wherever it is stored, as part of their contract with customers.
As a result, organizations across EMEA are investing heavily in protecting and securing their own critical data, while limiting foreign access. Which in turn, can create barriers to realizing its immense value. So how do we solve this problem?
The sovereign cloud solution
A robust governance framework is needed and a sovereign cloud approach presents a promising solution, offering the ability to ensure all data stays on sovereign soil, and cannot be accessed by foreign agents under all circumstances. Such frameworks can be immensely valuable for organizations facing sovereignty challenges, protecting and unlocking the value of critical data while complying with all governance requirements. But implementing such a solution can be challenging.
That’s where partners such as Tietoevry come in. Their deep expertise in embedding these frameworks in practice, and doing so in line with each organisation’s unique governance requirements, means they are perfectly placed to help organizations unlock the potential benefits of increased data sovereignty. It’s often untapped expertise too, as sovereign cloud’s value is still not widely understood.
Bridging that gap requires partners to take three key steps to capitalize on that opportunity, and embed themselves as trusted advisors to customers embarking on their own sovereign cloud journey:
- Educate: Although awareness is growing, customers still need to be educated on what ‘sovereign’ actually means and the wide range of benefits on offer, especially from a governance perspective. That includes helping them answer critical questions such as: where does the data reside, where is it flowing and who has control over it?
- Guide: Customers need guidance on which sovereign cloud for framework is right for them, and that’s an opportunity that Tietoevry has rightly capitalized on. It involves partners helping customers map out their data storage footprint, understanding where each type of data and the associated apps should be stored. Not all data needs to be moved to a sovereign cloud framework – each data set, dependent on sector or geographical location, may need to be protected differently.
- Rebuild trust: Public clouds can often seem big and operate in an opaque way, leaving some organizations wary of cloud providers and seeking transparency. Partners’ ability to align their organizations’ governance framework with initiatives such as Gaia-X, which prioritize transparency and interoperability when it comes to data, is critical to making sovereign cloud a success.
Partners have their finger on the pulse of all emerging technology, while simultaneously holding deep-rooted knowledge of regulatory requirements and governance changes. All of which puts them in a unique position to help customers realize best practise governance through sovereign cloud, and firmly back in the driving seat when it comes to driving innovation and growth through a smarter approach to cloud.