The physical location of data still matters, but will become increasingly irrelevant and will be replaced by a combination of legal location, political location and logical location in most organizations by 2020, according to a report from Gartner
Gartner Research Vice President Carsten Casper said that the number of data residency and data sovereignty discussions had soared in the past 12 months, stalling technology innovation in many organisations. Originally triggered by the dominance of US providers on the Internet and the Patriot Act, the perceived conflict was then fueled by revelations of unexpected surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) made public by Edward Snowden.
“IT leaders find themselves entangled in data residency discussions on different levels and with various stakeholders such as legal advisors, customers, regulatory authorities, employee representatives, business management, and the public,” Casper said.
“Business leaders must make the decision and accept the residual risk, balancing different types of risk: ongoing legal uncertainty, fines or public outrage, employee dissatisfaction or losing market share due to a lack of innovation, or overspending on redundant or outdated IT.”
“None of the types of data location solves the data residency problem alone,” Casper said. “The future will be hybrid — organization will be using multiple locations with multiple service delivery models. IT leaders can structure the discussion with various stakeholders, but eventually, it’s the business leader who has to make a decision, based on the input from general counsel, compliance officers, the information security team, privacy professionals and the CIO.”