Recently, we have seen several clients ask us questions about where their data is being stored with respects to their Office 365 solution. After much discussion with our Microsoft partner channels team, and several hours of research, we are putting this short blog out for our Office 365 clients to help understand where your data is.

The backstory:
Many companies are concerned with the physical location of their data, not only with respects to Office 365 (or Microsoft products) but with all cloud-related solutions. AWS, SunGard, SAP, Google, and more are all solutions that our clients are using daily. The utilization of the service isn’t necessarily the issue, but what the user chooses to store in the cloud may be subject to government regulation and concern.

Some compliance bodies such as PIPEDA, HIPPA, and PCI are all imposing their regulations on companies in their governing territories, which sometimes even conflict with each other making the topic of compliance even more difficult to certify.

Then there are the key issues that companies will need to consider from a legal perspective:

• Security
• Privacy
• Contractual
• Intellectual Property
• Trade Secrets
• e-Discovery
• Litigation

Legal Governance is also an issue that surrounds the question of where your data is physically stored. Your company may be exposed to certain risks based on the multiple parties which come together to create certain solutions for you to realize a sound cloud strategy.

That is why we always recommend taking the simplest approach and trust brands that are reputable and known to deliver what you need. In a future article, we are going to discuss PIPEDA specifically, and what it means to Canadian cloud customers.

We recommend to all customers that they always ask the following questions when seeking a cloud solution:

1. Where is my data stored?
2. Who are the underlying providers?
3. Does any part of the solution ever touch a network outside of our country?
4. What options do I have to decide on where I want my data stored?
5. Does your company comply with PIPEDA laws in Canada?

Our next Blog will be focusing on Microsoft Office 365, and how you can find out where your data is being stored.