As it is across the world, more and more CIOs in Canada are turning to the Cloud as their primary model for IT delivery.
For the purposes of our best practices guide ‘DigitalCanada.cloud‘, we define Canadian Cloud Computing to be the sum total of all the expertise and services Canadian CIOs need to implement Cloud solutions, meaning locally provided consulting services to access Cloud options delivered from outside of Canada, as well as within it.
However within this overall scope by far the most defining characteristic of Canadian Cloud is the data residency aspect.
For many organizations especially those in regulated industries the blanket need to have data protected by local Canadian laws will be an overriding requirement, and so this will be a central feature of the guide.
Many software vendors seeking to personalize their products for the Canadian market have therefore deployed locally hosted offerings, such as Hubshare.
Up until a few years ago this meant a choice between using a ‘hyperscale’ provider, such as AWS or Azure, or not, but now both operate local data centres in Canada so that is no longer a deciding factor. Here is a video of IT World Canada interviewing AWS CTO Werner Vogels to discuss their launch in 2016.
To the point of our guide it’s not always the case that an AWS or Azure will be the best fit for your requirements. There are many factors to consider even the basics of the vendor relationship you can hope for when working with a large global business versus a small, locally owned company, and for some workloads a more traditional managed or co-located service may be what you need.
In our guide we’ll document the decision process you can follow to determine the best solution, through featuring inputs from local experts, showcasing Cloud Solution Blueprints, recipes for common IT requirements.
Canadian Cloud Data Privacy
Furthermore the science of ‘Canadian Data Privacy’ has also evolved over the recent years to become a much more nuanced and sophisticated discussion, than simply a function of being hosted in Canada.
FuseForward provide this introductory overview of the topic and McMillan LLP this detailed walk through of the legal landscape. Cloud providers have made clear efforts to position their services as compliant with these requirements, such as AWS tailoring theirs even down to a level of Nova Scotian Healthcare data.
CBC reported on how this is an evolving landscape, with an increasingly accepted concept being recognized into Canada’s new digital charter that users themselves should have control over their personal information, highlighting relevant innovations such as the ‘Canadian Shield‘ from CIRA.
— CIRA (@ciranews) April 27, 2020
As we look at trends like ‘Open Banking’ taking hold in Canada we can begin to see where the nuance arises, as the principle enabling feature is the app to app exchange of personal data. How would this fit into this governance framework? This is the type of question being asked and answered by the likes of the CIO Strategy Council, recently publishing standards on Third Party Access to Data.
Being able to protect systems to enforce and safeguard these policies is a function of suitably capable Cybersecurity, and so hand in hand with Privacy legislation and practices we’ll review associated best practices in this field, within a context of Building Canada’s Cybersecurity Policy.