Study: Data Storage Location not in Top-3 Arguments for Choosing Cloud Provider

BIT data center

When choosing an IT provider, IT decision-makers place the highest value on security (45%), price-quality ratio (31%) and privacy (28%). The location of data storage is only a top three argument for one in eight (13%) IT decision makers when choosing a cloud provider. This emerges from research among Dutch IT decision makers conducted by data center operator BIT, a colocation provider from the Netherlands.

Seven out of ten (72%) IT decision-makers say that they have stored data of their organization (partially) in the Netherlands. If organizations store their data outside of this country, it is most often in another country within the European Union (18%), followed by European countries outside the European Union and the United States (both 8%).

For the study more than 1.000 IT decision makers across the Netherlands were questioned about management, storage and security of data.

Digital Sovereignty

Photo Alex Bik, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at BIT
“Looking at the survey results, I think many people are poorly informed about where their data is stored,” said Alex Bik, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at BIT.

Almost one in five (19%) IT decision-makers do not know where their own organization’s data is stored. Matters such as the location of the IT environment are decided from above by half (49%) of those surveyed, with the wishes of employees not really counting. The majority (54%) of IT decision-makers indicate that they prefer to host data on Dutch soil.

“Looking at the survey results, I think many people are poorly informed about where their data is stored. Which company and in which country data is housed has consequences,” said Alex Bik, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at BIT. “Consider not only the security and privacy of data, but also how dependent organizations – and our society as a whole – become on foreign providers. Do we really think it’s okay to house so much data with foreign hyperscalers?”

“Apart from the fact that it is not smart to do business with a company for which you, as a customer, are completely irrelevant, there are also all sorts of other risks involved,” added Mr. Bik. “Think, for example, of not complying with Dutch or European legislation in the area of data security, industrial espionage or the risk of becoming the plaything in the next conflict. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has made this even more evident. I think it’s time people start thinking about digital sovereignty.”