Sovereign cloud: the sudden trend of the state in favor of the French ecosystem

Sovereign cloud: the sudden trend of the state in favor of the French ecosystem

Shift gears without appearing to be in disguise: This is the risky – if not impossible – business that the government is taking on the highly sensitive issue of a nation’s cloud strategy. On Monday 12 September, a shocking trio of European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, Minister of Economy, Finance, Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, Bruno Le Maire, and Minister Plenipotentiary for Digital and Communications, Jean-Noël Barrot were invited to open the completely new data center – no pun intended – for OVHCloud in Strasbourg. That same data center that burned down in February 2021, burning with it part of the media credibility of the French cloud ecosystem. A few months later, in May 2021, the state announced its Cloud Doctrine and Cloud of Trust strategy, in which the dominant American players in the market, notably Microsoft and Google, were firmly established. Since then, it’s been a deep rift between the macro and the tricolor cloud heroes.

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Eighteen months later, a drastic change occurred in the atmosphere under the blue skies of Strasbourg. Uniting behind OVHCloud, the entire French industry is finally starting to retaliate. Before an audience of elected officials (Rep. Philip Latumbe, Senator Catherine Maureen Desailly, Grand Est Region President Jan Rottner…), businesses in the sector (Jamespot, Wallix, Clever Cloud…) and personalities (Director Anssi Guillaume Poupard, Director DG Thomas Corp…), Bruno Le Maire, Thierry Breton and Jean-Noël Barrot showed clear, clear and unequivocal support for the French cloud sector. the first. The goal: to finally put them at the heart of the national strategy, removing a certain number of obstacles.

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SecNumCloud opens for French cloud SMEs

In addition to its economic potential – the sector’s turnover is estimated at more than 560 billion euros in Europe in 2030 according to a KPMG study – it is impossible to dream of digital sovereignty and technological independence without controlling the clouds, both in terms of infrastructure and software, through which all our data passes.

While the country until recently encouraged the market to sign up for trusted cloud offerings with Gafam – which won’t arrive before 2024 and has yet to be labeled SecNumCloud by Anssi – it is now pushing French gamers to get this security certification, which previously seemed inaccessible to them due to The cost to obtain it. To lift this brake, Bruno Le Maire announced that Anssi will implement a €2.5 million qualification support scheme, intended for start-ups and SMEs. that provide platform services or software that can contribute to the modernization and flexibility of companies and departments Unofficial goal: to create trusted cloud offerings other than those currently offered with Gafam, thus correcting the political choice made in 2021.

Another declaration: “clarification” of the state cloud computing principle, which includes a more precise definition of the concept of sensitive data that must inevitably be processed in a sovereign cloud. ” A circular will be published in the coming weeks to clarify the level of data protection and ensure its extraterritorial protection against the United States Bruno Le Maire said.

The two ministers also announced the establishment of a Sectoral Strategic Committee (CSF) entitled “Digital Trust”.. this is ” A joint forum for exchanges with the state “, which will be chaired by OVHCloud General Manager Michel Paulin, should” Encouraging cooperation and participation in the emergence of a competitive French offer in the coming years In other words, to unite the now scattered French players, so that together they can create joint offerings capable of competing in the number of services offered with those of Gafam. In the name of digital supremacy, this strategic committee will be excluded from Gafam.” Only French cloud players can be there ”, confirms the Directorate General of Enterprises (DGE). Orange, Capgemini and Thales, which are also technology distributors and resellers, will be able to participate. Michel Boleyn will have to report to the government every six months on the composition, management and objectives of this new CSF, ensuring good coordination with existing CSFs (security industries and future industry in particular).

Finally, the government relies on the regulations in progress in Brussels in order to “ Rebalancing the cloud market It depends in particular on the European Plan for Cloud Cybersecurity, on the Data Act that will regulate industrial data, or on the important project of European Common Interest (IPCEI) Cloud, a European project worth 5 billion euros. More than 180 companies until a cloud is invented Tomorrow in Europe.

Orwellian erase any reference to Trusted Cloud

If the government presents these declarations as Reconfirm From the national cloud strategy, and thus claiming some form of consistency since the cloud strategy was announced in May 2021, in fact this is not the case.

The strategic shift announced by Bruno Le Maire and Jean-Noel Barrow is significant and astonishing. In May 2021, Bruno Le Maire and then-Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, Cedric Ou, had no word to refer to the French cloud sector, except to discredit it. Cedric confirmed or even that Gvam’s show ” The best cloud services “I assumed the French discourse according to which it is not” Not at the level ” And the ” It does not offer all the cloud bricks necessary for corporate and country digital transformation “.

Eighteen months later, his successor, Jean-Noel Barrow, said the exact opposite. ” French cloud and data players master all the core technology modules to deliver sovereign solutions to all strategic players “, he says. Indeed, the new Minister of Digital is calling on the state to ” depend on it “for” Winning the battle for digital supremacy In the face of the American heroes – Amazon, Microsoft, Google – who paint an unfamiliar picture of them. According to him, the strength of the Americans was to provide global solutions “, meeting all the needs of customers on one platform, allowing them to get” economic dominance that leads to technological dependence,” with paid from “Extraterritorial risks to the security of our data “.

For his part, the same Bruno Le Maire who confirmed that US offers could be sovereign if sold through joint ventures under French law (Bleu for Microsoft with Orange and Capgemini, S3ns for Google with Thales), says today: “ I oppose the principle of the United States extraterritoriality. I don’t see in the name of what they can seize the basic data of our sovereignty and independence. No one, even our allies, can have the right to seize our data However, more and more legal experts warn that trusted cloud offerings with Gafam will be subject to extraterritorial FISA law and that Americans may also consider them to be subject to cloud law, requiring the creation of a real legal barrier that is both costly and uncertain that is supposed to take place. SecNumCloud label validation.

A year ago, American Gafams were presented as ” partners Essential, but only mentioned today as a data predator, a state weapon of choice, and the United States, which, thanks to its extraterritorial laws — the Cloud Law and the FISA Law — is swindling access to our strategic data. In a striking allusion to the coup against the government, the two ministers did not once name the confidence-cloud strategy in their speech. This is also absent from the government’s press release, as if it did not exist. Nor did Bruno Le Maire and Jean-Noel Barrow once mention the names of the French players – Orange, Capgemini and Thales – at the heart of the strategy introduced last year, nor those of its artisan Cedric O.

They also seem to have forgotten what Emmanuel Macron himself said during the France 2030 presentation: “ Will we have a full cloud sovereignty in 5 years? I don’t think it’s right for us to say that to each other, because we’re so far behind schedule.”. But today the government believes that it is possible to quickly find French sovereign solutions.

“Go ahead and forget the differences of the past”

Something unimaginable happened a year ago: The French cloud ecosystem assembled in Strasbourg was hailed as welcoming by Thierry Breton, Bruno Le Maire and Jean-Noel Barrot.

This is coming three years late but it is a real strategic readjustment which is very positive.”and estimates the deputy (Modem), Philip Latumbe, while he was a relative: ” There is still a lack of commitments to public procurement, which is an essential lever for the development of French cloud pioneers And finally, quickly: Trusted cloud strategy is quietly buried “.

For their part, cloud entrepreneurs are excited about this and are waiting to see what happens in essence. “Jean-Noël Barrot took the time to greet us, listen to us and understand that the 2021 strategy was going straight to the wall. It’s just that, it’s changing and it’s huge. Correcting the situation requires political courage, the government must abandon itself but it cannot deny itself, it is not an easy situation, it is better to move on and forget the differences of the past. », adds Alain Garnier, President of Jamespot (Collaborative Software).

If everything indicates that the government will now help build true sovereign offerings rather than push the market into the arms of Gafam, it now remains to be seen how Bruno Le Maire and Jean-Noël Barrot manage the inevitable response from Bleu, of S3ns, and Gafam, who, without publicly disavowing him, received a slap from hell in Strasbourg.

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