recent report from IT World Canada found that 54 percent of businesses surveyed planned to invest in cloud computing projects this year. 

However, many Canadian organizations are reluctant to move IT operations to the cloud, despite its cost efficiency, scalability and agility– and their number one concern is the privacy and security of their data.

Even before cloud computing took off, Canadian businesses have tended to want their data to stay in Canada. First the USA Patriot Act, and then last year’s Snowden revelations have made Canadian fears over losing control over their data greater than ever. In fact, recent research revealed that a full one third (33 percent) of Canadian businesses planned to move data outside the U.S. this year.

But do Canadian businesses have to choose between two extremes: using cloud services that compromise on data privacy and security, or avoiding the cloud altogether? The short answer is: no. In fact, secure Canadian-based clouds can keep data entirely within Canadian borders.

Data residency

When thinking about where to store information while retaining data residency, some Canadian businesses only think about the geographic location of servers where data is stored. Yet many businesses – with good reason – aren’t satisfied to hear their data is stored in a Canadian data centre. They also want to be sure data doesn’t pass through any networks in any country, including the U.S., where it might be subject to unwarranted surveillance or seizure.

A Canadian cloud that offers true data residency can’t rely just on data centres sitting inside Canadian borders – it must be connected by networks that are entirely within Canada. Further, the disaster recovery zones where data is relocated in the event of a server outage must also be located in Canada. 

The three requirements for a secure Canadian cloud are therefore pretty simple: physical storage of data in Canada; networks inside Canadian borders; and disaster recovery points local to Canada.

Canadians want choice

Data privacy and residency aren’t always deal-breakers for every Canadian business, but it’s important that Canadian customers have choice when it comes to the cloud. Canadians shouldn’t have to miss out on the cloud’s benefits simply because some providers can’t guarantee that data will remain within Canada. Fortunately, the rapidly growing Canadian cloud market is creating alternatives that keep data local, safe and secure.