It has appeared to me that international tensions over privacy and data residency have had their roots in an attempt to slow cloud adoption. GDPR looms as an emerging specter and Germany, the powerhouse of Europe, China, and the US Government have their own Microsoft “cloud.”
However, my gut tells me that data residency and regulations will drive cloud adoption. I just walked through the steps to enable Multi-Geo features in Office 365. While the endeavor was years in the making, the spectacle was anticlimactic because it was simply flipping a few switches. Now, multinational organizations can flip these switches and be compliant with various data residency requirements.
Let us consider the previous means to accomplish this feat.
Datacenters, electricity, cooling, and Internet access could need to be established in each geography, times two (because, redundancy). Then, servers, storage, networking, and configuration. Finally, you stand it all up and start deploying the software solution. Rinse and repeat for each geography. Perhaps one geo is for 300 users, but the average is a few thousand. It is a requirement, but it is costly and time consuming.
Now, you select an attribute in a configuration and populate the requisite value for each users, then sync. Far simpler, for sure.
The “cloud” operates at a scale that easily makes these requirements achievable for organizations in less time with little fuss. Instead of slowing adoption, compliant clouds will accelerate.