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The Rise of Sovereign Clouds Amidst a Fractured Global Climate

The Rise of Sovereign Clouds Amidst a Fractured Global Climate

The News: Oracle plans to invest more than $8 billion in cloud computing and AI in Japan. The planned investment will grow the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) footprint in Japan, and the expanded local support and operations team will help customers and partners address digital sovereignty requirements. Read the press release here.

The Rise of Sovereign Clouds Amidst a Fractured Global Climate

Analyst Take: In recent years, the concept of a “sovereign cloud” has gained significant traction among nations seeking greater autonomy and security in their digital infrastructures. As geopolitical tensions increase and the global political climate grows more complex, countries and enterprises are emphasizing the need to have cloud services physically closer to their operations. This trend is driven by multiple factors, including heightened security concerns, the necessity for low-latency processing, and stringent regulatory compliance demands that vary by jurisdiction.

The move toward localized data handling and storage solutions helps mitigate risks associated with data sovereignty and cross-border data flows, which can be subject to foreign surveillance and conflicting legal requirements. Enterprises are increasingly wary of these risks, particularly those operating in sectors where data privacy is paramount. Thus, the adoption of sovereign cloud solutions allows them to exert greater control over their data while conforming to local laws and regulations, ensuring that they maintain trust and compliance.

Oracle’s Strategic Expansion in Japan

Oracle Japan’s recent announcement of a substantial $8 billion investment over the next decade underscores a significant commitment to enhancing cloud computing and AI infrastructure within Japan. This strategic move is set to expand the OCI footprint significantly across the nation, a testament to Oracle’s dedication to its Japanese market and response to increasing demand for localized cloud solutions.

Toshimitsu Misawa, a board member and president of Oracle Corporation Japan, articulated the company’s vision to support Japanese customers and partners at every stage of their cloud journey. By expanding its cloud presence and augmenting its support teams with locally based personnel, Oracle aims to cater to Japan’s unique digital sovereignty and regulatory requirements. This initiative is about scaling up operationally and enhancing the ability to deliver cutting-edge AI and cloud services within Japan’s regulatory framework.

Oracle’s plans include an increase in local customer support capabilities within its public cloud regions in Tokyo and Osaka. Additionally, the expansion of local operations teams for Oracle Alloy and OCI Dedicated Region will bolster its service offerings. These dedicated and hybrid cloud setups will enable governments and businesses across Japan to shift their mission-critical workloads to the cloud, ensuring compliance with national sovereignty requirements. Oracle positions itself uniquely as the only hyperscaler that can deliver AI and a comprehensive suite of more than 100 cloud services locally, catering to a diverse range of operational needs.

The OCI distributed cloud portfolio is particularly notable for its flexibility and control, offering solutions tailored to various governmental and institutional needs. For example, OCI Dedicated Region allows customers to operate all OCI cloud services within their own data centers. At the same time, Oracle Alloy enables partners to resell these services and customize client experiences further. Oracle also maintains specialized cloud setups for various national security and government needs across the US, UK, and Australia.

Further enhancing its global footprint, Oracle continues to manage hybrid deployments such as Oracle Exadata Cloud@Customer and Compute Cloud@Customer in over 60 countries, while its public cloud infrastructure spans 49 hyperscale regions. These are critical for organizations that must adhere to strict EU sovereignty controls and other regional regulations. Oracle’s multicloud strategies, such as collaborations with Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and other platforms, exemplify its commitment to providing seamless integration and flexibility across different cloud ecosystems.

Looking Ahead

Oracle’s hefty investment in Japan is indicative of a broader industry trend where major cloud providers are increasingly investing in localized cloud solutions to meet specific regional demands. This strategy aligns closely with recent movements by other hyperscalers, such as IBM Cloud’s expansion in Canada, and directly related, AWS’ expansion announced for Japan earlier this year, where it similarly aims to enhance its offerings to meet local data sovereignty and operational needs.

Oracle’s initiative reflects a strategic alignment with global demands for cloud services that offer both the scalability of public clouds and the control and security of private clouds. As businesses continue to navigate a complex global landscape, the ability to deploy sovereign cloud solutions will become a critical differentiator among leading cloud service providers.

This investment strengthens Oracle’s competitive edge in the Asia-Pacific region and sets a precedent for how global cloud giants can effectively respond to the nuanced needs of diverse markets. As cloud technology continues to evolve, Oracle’s approach offers valuable insights into the future of cloud computing, where flexibility, local compliance, and robust security measures become integral to serving the sophisticated needs of enterprises worldwide.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

Sovereign Cloud: AWS’s Strategic Expansion in Japan

Oracle Fiscal 2024 Q3: Results Fueled by Cloud and Generative AI Surge

IBM Invests in Canadian Cloud Sovereignty

Author Information

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.

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