Technology Record - Issue 31: Winter 2023

43 to hyperscale cloud platforms so they can take advantage of new technologies, all while remaining compliant with data protection and sovereignty regulations. “We’ve seen governments around the world begin to make this shift from local private data centres to realising the vast array of capabilities and benefits only a hyperscale cloud provider can provide, with new innovations like generative AI and large language models (LLM) acting as an even greater catalyst for this movement,” says Thomas. “LLMs are helping public sector organisations to provide enhanced customer service experiences that make government services more accessible and less timeconsuming. Our intention with Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty is to unlock cloud innovation, such as Azure OpenAI Service, for governments through tailored sovereign controls. Our technical approach is grounded in repeatable best practices designed to help customers achieve their regional and national requirements.” Mitford adds: “Since the inception of the cloud, government customers have faced limitations with cloud adoption, in part because they need controls to meet specific national and regional requirements. Over recent years, innovators within governments around the world have asked for alternatives to the heavy capital expense and operational costs associated with a legacy approach of private data centres, both to reduce the overhead of owning and operating data centres and to facilitate modernisation.” Organisations have struggled to meet the needs of citizens while their data has been held in on-premises data centres, with limited server space restricting data storage options and the need to physically connect to servers limiting work flexibility. However, the cloud offers governments the ability to operate with agility. “With Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty, governments don’t have to choose between digital innovation and control over their data,” says Mitford. “They can implement secure, consistent and compliant environments, and adhere to evolving local regulations while taking full advantage of the cloud. Governments that adopt the cloud benefit from the latest innovations including AI, digital identities and online services, but those that maintain or expand their private cloud investments may not benefit from the same growth and innovation.” European Commissioner Didier Reynders announced the EU-US Adequacy Decision in July 2023, which allows data to flow safely from EU to US companies participating in the EU-US Data Privacy Framework Photo: EU Union 2023/Jennifer Jacquemart