The holy trinity – data sovereignty, Sovereign Cloud, and Sovereign DBaaS

November 21, 2023
Antoine Coetsier

In this episode we explore the critical concept of data sovereignty with guest Antoine Coetsier, Co-founder and COO of Exoscale. The conversation dives into the significance of data sovereignty, especially in an era where digital infrastructure is increasingly considered critical to society, democracy, and the economy. Antoine and Vinay discuss how regulations are evolving, prompting organizations to reconsider their data strategies.

Antoine highlights the need for enterprises to prioritize data control, ensuring they can maintain ownership and accessibility across diverse cloud platforms. As data sovereignty gains importance, businesses must navigate the complexities of data management, architecture, and compliance to ensure they are well-prepared for the evolving regulatory landscape.

In summary, this episode provides valuable insights into the evolving landscape of data sovereignty and the critical role it plays in ensuring data autonomy and security, while keeping in mind the importance of technology and contractual decisions to safeguard an organization’s valuable assets in an increasingly digital world.

Key Insights

The Rising Importance of Data Sovereignty

Data sovereignty is a significant and evolving concept in the tech industry. As data becomes increasingly critical to society, democracy, and the economy, there is growing awareness and discussion surrounding the need for businesses to take control of their data. Regulatory frameworks, like the NIS2 directive and emerging legislation, are pushing organizations to reevaluate their data strategies. Ensuring data control and ownership has become a central focus, prompting companies to seek data portability and protection across various cloud platforms.

Avoid Vendor Lock-In for Data Portability

To navigate the complexities of data sovereignty, businesses must make strategic choices that allow for data portability and protection. An essential piece of advice is to avoid vendor lock-in, meaning organizations should select technology and service providers offering the flexibility to run applications and store data on-premises or across diverse cloud platforms. This approach helps to mitigate risks associated with dependence on a single provider and provides greater control over the fate of an organization’s data.

Contractual Rights and Data Reversibility

In an environment where data ownership and control are paramount, it’s essential for businesses to have contractual rights and data reversibility safeguards in place. These rights ensure that data remains accessible, regardless of changes in circumstances or contractual disputes with service providers. Having the legal means to retrieve data, even in adverse situations, provides a layer of protection for organizations.

Episode Highlights

💡The Ongoing Evolution of Data Sovereignty [00:25:09]

Data sovereignty is an ever-evolving concept in the tech industry, driven by regulatory changes and an increasing focus on data control. Businesses need to consider data portability and the ability to retain control across different cloud platforms.

“The regulatory frame is moving, and I think we’ll bring more and more discussion… we need to decide where we put ourselves on that line of sovereignty vis-a-vis our business.”

💡Avoid Vendor Lock-In for Data Autonomy [00:32:39]

To achieve data sovereignty, organizations should avoid vendor lock-in by selecting technology and service providers that offer data portability and flexibility. This strategy ensures that companies retain control over their data, regardless of where they deploy it.

“Make sure that you have some portability with that technology… so that people can compare offerings and have a default compatibility.”

💡The Quest for Data Reversibility [00:33:34]

Having contractual rights for data reversibility is crucial in the pursuit of data sovereignty. Organizations must secure their legal rights to retrieve data, ensuring access remains intact even under adverse circumstances or contractual disputes.

“This legal right, contractual right to get your data back as a data controller… it’s about control, it’s about autonomy.”

💡The Importance of Data Management Strategy [00:33:40]

The need for strategic data management and architecture choices is emphasized. Data sovereignty requires businesses to make informed decisions about contractual agreements to protect their valuable digital assets in the face of evolving regulations.

“In the end, it’s about control. It’s about autonomy. You can only achieve that if you enforce these not just technically but also in your contracts.”


Name: Antoine Coetsier
What he does: Antoine is the Co-founder and COO of Exoscale.
Website: Exoscale
Noteworthy: Antoine Coetsier is a cloud expert with extensive experience in secure infrastructure solutions.
You can find Antoine Coetsier on LinkedIn