The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has moved its computing from the secure military network, it has used for the last 10 years, to cloud data centres based in the UK.
Cloud computing is often cited as offering a cheaper and more efficient alternative to private servers. But this has to be balanced against restrictions on where sensitive data can be stored. These restrictions have meant that the MOD was previously unable to use public data centres as this would have involved transferring data outside their own network and possibly abroad.
However, the MoD has been working with Microsoft, which recently opened three datacentres in the UK, to guarantee that data will be kept within British borders.
Mike Stone, the MoD's chief digital and information officer, said: "Right from the start I've felt that for defence the only appropriate place to have our data was here in the UK. Technically our data could be held anywhere in the European economic area, but I wouldn't ever want to be in a position where we had data being held elsewhere and this coming under scrutiny."
Mr Stone was also confirmed that he was confident that cloud computing was adequately secure, saying that "there are some very interesting security benefits that come with it."
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