KPN, the largest infrastructure provider in the Netherlands, offers a high-performance fixed-line and mobile network in addition to enterprise-class IT infrastructure and a wide range of cloud offerings, including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Security-as-a-Service. Drawing on its extensive track record of success providing VMware Cloud Verified services and solutions, KPN is now one of a distinguished group of providers to have earned the VMware Sovereign Cloud distinction.

“With the exceptionally strong, high-performance network we offer, this is truly a sovereign cloud. Government agencies, healthcare companies, and organizations with highly sensitive and confidential data can confidentially comply with industry-specific regulations such as GDPR, Government Information Security Baseline, Royal Netherlands Standardization Institute, and the Network and Information Security Directive,” said Babak Fouladi, Chief Technology & Digital Officer and Member of the Board of Management at KPN. “KPN places data and applications in a virtual private cloud that is controlled, tested, managed, and secured in the Netherlands, without third-party interference.”

KPN’s sovereign cloud, CloudNL, reflects a rapidly changing landscape in which many companies need to move data to a sovereign cloud. Reasons why include a dramatic increase in remote or hybrid work, evolving geopolitical events and threats, and fast-changing international regulations.

“The more you digitize an enterprise, the greater the variety of data and applications you must manage,” says Fouladi. “Each requires the right cloud environment based on the required security level, efficiency, and ease of use. On the one hand, this might include confidential customer information that requires extra protection, and which must remain within the nation’s boundaries. Just as importantly, the information must never be exposed to any foreign nationals at any time. On the other hand, you have workloads that are entirely appropriate for the public cloud and benefit from the economy and scale the cloud offers.”

Fouladi stresses that this is why so many organizations are embracing a multi-cloud strategy. It’s a strategy he believes is fundamentally enriched with a sovereign cloud.

Based on VMware technologies, CloudNL is designed to satisfy the highest security requirements and features stringent guarantees verified through independent audits. All data and applications are stored in KPN’s data centers within the Netherlands – all of which are operated and maintained by fully-vetted citizens of the Netherlands.

ValidSign, a KPN CloudNL customer, is a rapidly growing provider of cloud-based solutions that automate document signings. ValidSign’s CEO John Lageman notes that the company’s use of a fully sovereign cloud in Holland is particularly important for the security-minded organizations the company serves, among them notaries, law firms, and government institutions.

“The documents, permits, and contracts that we sign must remain guaranteed in the Netherlands,” says Lageman. “Digitally and legally signing and using certificates used to be very expensive. Moving to the cloud was the solution, but not with an American cloud provider – our customers would no longer be sure where the data would be stored or who could have access to it. With CloudNL they have that control.”

The Bottom Line

There are many reasons to move data to a sovereign cloud, among them an increase in remote or hybrid work, changing geopolitical events, or fast-changing international regulations. KPN CloudNL empowers enterprises to handle these challenges with ease by incorporating sovereign cloud into their multi-cloud strategy.

Learn more about KPN CloudNL here and its partnership with VMware here.

Cloud Computing

While a new forecast released Monday by Spiceworks/Ziff Davis said that overall IT spending will be largely unhampered by recessionary trends in the economic outlook, much of that spending will be driven by large enterprises, leaving the picture much murkier for small and medium-size businesses.

The forecast is based on a survey of IT professionals in the US and Europe, which was performed this summer by Aberdeen Research. Fully 90% of respondents said that they either planned to increase spending or keep it steady in 2023. However, the impulse to buy is not evenly distributed across companies—while 61% of large enterprises said that they plan an expansion of IT spending in 2023, just 41% of smaller companies said the same.

Counterintuitively, the researchers said, companies more worried about the effects of a possible recession were more likely to have bigger IT spending in their future plans than those who were not. Just 30% of companies with “no plans” to make major preparations for a recession reported that they were getting ready to hike IT spending, in contrast to solid majorities—68% and 55%—for companies who were already making recession plans or planned to in the near future, respectively.

That level of preparedness, coupled with the fact that some companies may be planning to reinvest cost savings from other areas into IT, reflect lessons learned during past economic downturns, according to Jim Rapoza, vice president and principal analyst at Aberdeen.

IT spending during a recession shows benefits

“Businesses that invested in technology during the pandemic saw significant benefits,” he said on a conference call announcing the study’s results. “Our research revealed improvements across performance, reliability, security and even reduced overall IT costs among organizations that modernized their infrastructure —even if that was initially out of necessity.”

Essentially, he said, recessions shouldn’t spur IT cutbacks. Companies that did so in 2001 and 2008 were frequently punished for it by the market. Hence, larger businesses , particularly those that have already weathered past economic crises, tend to be much more likely to either maintain their IT spending levels or even to increase them during economic headwinds.

That trend is already recognizable in the figures for uptake of newer technologies, the study found, particularly 5G, edge, serverless computing, and AI. Part of the reason for that is that many of them are interrelated. The type of connectivity enabled by 5G makes it easier for some companies to deploy edge computing, which creates the volumes of data required to feed AI models, and so on. Hence, companies with the financial wherewithal to either build those capabilities out on their own or hire managed service providers to take care of them—that is to say, big businesses—are much more likely to be working on them, and thus are more likely to reap the benefits.

That fact, along with the higher uptake of managed services in general among larger companies, could mean that such enterprises are better prepared to weather an economic downturn, or any other kind of large-scale headwind on the market, according to head of tech insights at Spiceworks/Ziff Davis, Peter Tsai.

“The pandemic’s not over—what if there’s another deadly wave that forces everyone to go remote again?” he said on the conference call. “Having that hybrid infra makes it easier to flip that switch to ‘remote’ back on.”

Budget, Technology Industry