Will the EU’s Safe Harbor Ruling Affect Your Cloud Strategy?


For more than 15 years companies have been doing business under the protection of the Safe Harbor rules which state, U.S. firms are allowed to transfer personal data of European citizens back to the U.S.. They only have to follow one set of rules on how data they store and collect within the European Union is protected. However, all of that changed when the EU court nullified those rules earlier this month allowing each country in the European Union to potentially set its own privacy rules and regulations, creating enormous barriers to U.S. firms doing business within the EU.

Companies that do business abroad need to reconsider their cloud strategy so that they remain in compliance with a myriad local data sovereignty laws. While developing their strategy they need to consider many factors like, data location and movement, security, and who has access to the data. Companies also need to ensure that not only are they in compliance but any service providers or hosting contractors are also in compliance. Hybrid cloud, a combination of private and public clouds, is becoming the preferred cloud strategy for many organizations. Private clouds are being adopted for workloads that have security, compliance and performance requirements while public clouds are being used for applications and data that use less sensitive data.  Hybrid clouds often incorporate a centralized management layer that allows IT admins to easily manage a complex cloud system. As local rules change and evolve a well-run hybrid cloud will include multiple private clouds located within countries of operations for compliance reasons as well public cloud integration for performance and bursting capabilities.

Hybrid cloud allows business to be agile and quickly respond to changing market and legal requirements. This is why many businesses are moving to a hybrid model.  According to a recent IDC study 72% of cloud users expect that within 24 months they will be spending money in a public cloud, an in-house private cloud, and a hosted private cloud, a 172% increase from today. And according to a another study from TBR research by 2018, 40% of hybrid cloud customers expect to have hybridized at least 50% of their IT environments, with 12% expecting to hybridize over 75%.

With the right cloud strategy that includes a mix of private and public clouds a business can offer fast access to IT services while still protecting corporate data, customer data and meeting compliance regulations.

About the Author: Rob Duffy