Google, Microsoft, SAP Announce Initiative to Enhance Cloud Services and Security


The new industry initiative Trusted Cloud Principles was established by leading technology companies and cloud service providers to protect the basic rights of individuals and organisations of all sizes using cloud services–championing delivery of enhanced cloud services and security.

Organisations across industries are accelerating their digital transformation through cloud platforms for long-term growth, business agility, and innovation. The drive for cloud adoption has been growing exponentially to help companies manage their increasing data assets and cost-effectively scale to meet their needs. According to Gartner, 75% of all databases will be deployed or migrated to a cloud platform by 2022, with only 5% considered for repatriation to on-premises.

Technology and software giants recognise the need to ensure that their customers’ journey to the cloud remains seamless, secure, and protected to remain competitive in the cloud era. This month opened with the major announcement of Trusted Cloud Principles, a shared initiative by Microsoft, Amazon, Google, IBM, Cisco, SAP, Salesforce-Slack, and Atlassian to ensure the free flow of data, to promote public safety, and to protect privacy and data security in the cloud.

Enhancing Cloud Services and Security

Through the Trusted Cloud initiative, the tech companies aim to partner with governments around the world to resolve international conflicts of law that impede innovation, security, and privacy, and to establish and ensure basic protections for organisations that store and process data in the cloud. The companies have committed to collaborate with the tech sector, public interest groups, and policymakers, especially in countries where they operate data centers and cloud infrastructure, to ensure that laws and policies are substantial with the Trusted Cloud Principles such as:

  • Governments Should Engage Customers First, with Only Narrow Exceptions. 
  • Customers Should Have a Right to Notice.
  • Cloud Providers Should Have a Right to Protect Customers’ Interests. 
  • Governments Should Address Conflicts of Law.
  • Governments Should Support Cross-Border Data Flows.

The signatories said in a statement:

“The Trusted Cloud Principles will help safeguard the interests of organisations and the basic rights of individuals using cloud services so that they can accomplish what they need in a safe and secure way.

This initiative is more important today than ever … when some governments come directly to providers like us for access to customer data without their knowledge — in some cases for legitimate reasons but in other cases for reasons that could hinder basic human rights — it creates a tension that needs to be addressed through both technology and policies.”

The companies that co-created the industry initiative have also been deepening their cloud partnerships in recent years centred on enhanced cloud services and security. In July, German software enterprise SAP and Google Cloud announced an expanded strategic partnership that enables RISE with SAP customers to execute business transformations, migrate critical business systems to the cloud and augment existing business systems with Google Cloud capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). RISE with SAP is a comprehensive, intelligent, customer-specific offering to help drive their business-transformation-as-a-service. 

Back in 2019, Microsoft and SAP sealed an extensive three-year deal dubbed Project Embrace to accelerate customer adoption of SAP S/4HANA and SAP Cloud Platform on Microsoft Azure.

Leaders Expressing Confidence

Shortly after the announcement of the Trusted Cloud Principles, executives from the participating companies expressed their support and confidence in the joint cloud initiative. Here are some of the LinkedIn posts shared by the tech leaders:

“An important step and a joint commitment among tech leaders to protect the rights of cloud customers around the world”, shared Lou Meshulam, Head of Cloud, SAP North America.

“Organisations around the world are using data and technology to create new products, services, and experiences – benefiting customers and citizens as well as driving economic growth. In Europe alone, the data economy is expected to grow to €829 billion by 2025 according to the EU Commission. As the cloud underpins this transformation, it is important that stakeholders worldwide, including technology companies, work closely with governments to promote public safety while also protecting the security and privacy of data stored in the cloud,” said Ralph Häupter, President, EMEA at Microsoft.

“Today, Microsoft is announcing the Trusted Cloud Principles, a new industry initiative that defines our collective commitment to protect the rights of customers around the world. Developed in concert with Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, and supported by Atlassian, Cisco, IBM, and Salesforce + Slack, SAP, many of the principles outlined in today’s announcement are ones that our companies already live by every day,” shared Andrea Della Mattea, President, Asia Pacific, Microsoft.

“A great development. Agreement and publication of The Trusted Cloud Principles,” posted Phil Venables, Chief Information Security Officer, Google Cloud.

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