sovereign cloud

(Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)

Microsoft to develop Singapore’s first sovereign cloud

The sovereign cloud is designed to deliver security and data access based on the strict requirements of regulated industries under local data privacy laws and regulations. Several countries have already launched their own sovereign clouds to have visibility and better protect their citizen’s data.

Last week, German software firm SAP said it would roll out a sovereign internet cloud platform where all data processing and services will be handled domestically. In October 2021, Google and Thales also announced a joint venture to offer a sovereign cloud service in France.

Over in Southeast Asia, Singapore is also about to have its first sovereign cloud. Microsoft and HTX (Home Team Science and Technology Agency) are partnering to develop a sovereign cloud to accelerate digital transformation and innovation for HTX as well as address emerging technology needs across Singapore’s Home Team Departments.

The Home Team Departments are made up of security agencies like the Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force. The agreement will also introduce new skilling, job development, and training initiatives.

The sovereign cloud will be built on Microsoft’s Azure platform and will equip HTX with on-demand, high-performance cloud computing, and data storage resources. It will enable HTX to quickly adapt and create new technologies and solutions, significantly reduce time-to-market in introducing new digital capabilities, and quickly scale up capacity to meet future needs.

High system resiliency and availability will ensure that Home Team’s operations continue 24×7 with minimal interruption. Coupled with high-speed network connectivity and advanced analytics, the sovereign cloud capability will provide Home Team officers on the ground with real-time data to enable swifter incident response and decision-making.

Microsoft will also provide additional training and educational opportunities, including 600 training seats along with exam certificates that will be made available annually to HTX. This training will advance the technical skills of cloud technology professionals in Singapore.

For Chan Tsan, CEO of THX, the strategic partnership with Microsoft to develop a Sovereign Cloud in Singapore will enable them to push the boundaries of innovation and be at the forefront of technology.

“This way, we will be well-poised to exponentially enhance the capabilities of the Home Team and to keep Singapore as the safest place on the planet,” said Tsan.

Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President, and Chief Commercial Officer, Microsoft commented, “We’re delivering a trusted sovereign cloud that adheres to and meets the needs of the Singapore government – one that will expedite their digital transformation efforts. Our agreement will enable key technological advancements and provide access to data and insights to help drive change across various communities.”

As a statutory board of Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs and integral to the Home Team, HTX works at the forefront of science and technology to empower Singapore’s frontline of security. It is also the world’s first Science and Technology agency that integrates a diverse range of scientific and engineering capabilities to innovate and deliver transformative and operationally ready solutions for homeland security.