Back to blog


This article is based on an online round table " Data in the cloud, What is the right data strategy in a multi-cloud world?” ' organised by Pointury on March 29, 2022, during which a group of CIO's met to share experiences with data in multi-cloud environments.

On Tuesday March 29 we had an open discussion, initiated by Philip De Bie, CIO at Picanol and Gerdy De Clercq, former CIO at Fednot.

Erik Valgaeren, Lawyer at Stibbe, made reflections from a legal point of view on the topics addressed be all participants.

Reflections on GDPR and sensitive data

There is more personal data than one might immediately think of.

Take e.g.

  • data on loans and investments
  • notary deeds on weddings, testaments and real estate
  • medical records in hospitals 
  • records held by lawyers on their customer’s cases
  • records on chips of cats and dogs, their owners and their vets
  • records on delivering diapers to individuals
  • data coming from smart diapers used in retirement homes
  • police records
  • tax records

Some reasons for keeping data on prem

  • existing contracts with customers stipulate that data is on prem. These contracts might have to be renegotiated before the data is migrated to the cloud.
  • some organisations and their customers prefer to keep confidential data on prem
  • a prudent choice for a well-known environment
  • on prem back-ups are available for years and are kept offline rather than the typical 90 days offered by cloud suppliers, which are by definition not offline
  • legal obligations concerning where data is kept: e.g. hospitals, lawyers and notaries are obliged to store the data in the perimeter of their organisations.
  • E.U. GDPR regulations not allowing organisations to store personal data outside of the E.U.
  • data coming from sensors and camera’s may have to be preprocessed and consolidated on prem (e.g. in an edge-cloud platform) before moving the processed data to the public cloud
  • corporate policy that does not allow to send unprocessed data to a public cloud
  • putting processing power and storage where the data is generated.

Some reasons for moving data to the cloud

  • some organisations and its customers prefer to have all confidential data (such as accounting data) and the applications that use them managed by an independent cloud provider abroad rather than by colleagues in their own local organisation and network.
  • Need for sales employees to have access to data anywhere and anytime
  • support outside business hours, scalability (of the application and of the database)
  • available cybersecurity and monitoring tools
  • access to AI and analytic capabilities
  • the speed of development e.g. a jump start with an available application, similar to what the company needed to develop
  • costs: SAAS solutions like Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 are now cheaper than having the data on prem yet that comes with uncertainty concerning the price evolution and the availability of backups in case of a successful cyberattack.
  • Costs: it is not easy to decide which data can be stored as cold data rather than as hot data in the cloud.
  • Some companies such as OEM’s are obliged to make data available to third parties. They will typically select a cloud-based system to do this.

Some reasons for choosing a single cloud environment

  • If you want to develop a complete digital business, it might be easier to do it in a single cloud. With multi-cloud portability is an extra issue, that can be avoided.
  • Managing a cloud environment requires different skills than managing a datacenter. Many companies can’t find or afford IT experts for more than one cloud environment.
  • Economies of scale allowing to benefit from volume discounts.

Some reasons for choosing a multi cloud environment

  • Mergers and acquisitions automatically result in multi-cloud environments.
  • Some organisations prefer a multi-cloud environment making use of the strengths of each environment and the availability of specific tools and applications.

Conclusion: it is recommended to make a SWOT analysis to decide which data should be stored in the cloud or on prem., in a single cloud or in multi-cloud.


Contact Us