Aerospace & defenseNovember 1, 2023

What is the sovereign cloud?

The sovereign cloud is a type of cloud computing architecture that ensures all data, including metadata, stays on sovereign soil and blocks foreign access to data.
Avatar Gabby Gelbien

You see it all the time in the news. Another company has fallen victim to a data breach and the personal information of thousands, sometimes millions, of consumers becomes compromised and exposed to identity theft. Whether it is hacking into someone’s computer network, phishing, or a ransomware attack, there are a lot of risks to being on the internet in this day and age. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrime has increased 600% and there are reports that cybercrimes could cost companies an estimated $10.5 trillion annually by 2025

Cybersecurity gets even more complicated when you consider geographical location, local and federal privacy laws, and the industry you’re in.

Each has its own unique security regulations, and depending on severity, non-compliance with privacy laws can cost companies up to €20 million euros ($21.4 million dollars).  

And what does this mean for the cloud? Is the cloud truly a secure place for businesses to host information like credit card information, credentials, IP addresses, and even health-related information? What about activities like cloud computing which includes product lifecycle management, design, and even simulation? 

With so much of our daily business activities being hosted on cloud-based platforms and security concerns on the rise, there has been a call for an even more secure solution. Enter the sovereign cloud. 

The sovereign cloud: a definition 

The sovereign cloud is a type of cloud computing architecture that ensures all data, including metadata, stays on sovereign soil and blocks foreign access to data. It is often designed and built to be in compliance with local laws and regulations.

The sovereign cloud can be used by any enterprise that collects, stores and handles data in multiple countries. However, a sovereign cloud solution is often most critical for industries that host highly sensitive forms of data, like healthcare or aerospace and defense. These industries are highly regulated and many countries require strict reinforcements for how proprietary data is collected, stored and processed. By using the sovereign cloud you can ensure the protection of your most critical data from foreign access and prove compliance with local data privacy and security laws. 

Benefits of the sovereign cloud 

There are a number of reasons why a business might choose to use the sovereign cloud instead of another type of cloud storage. Here are a few of its benefits. 

1. Cloud sovereignty

Unlike the public cloud, which poses the risk of foreign interference, the sovereign cloud’s data is kept localized on sovereign soil. The sovereign cloud offers the same security measures as a public cloud including access controls, encryption, and network segmentation tailored to your specific country, with the added promise to withhold data sovereignty. 

2. Can be set up according to industry and local regulations

Sovereign cloud solutions come with the unique benefit of being deployed locally. This means that all hosting and data processing can be done within its own region, under local privacy laws and standards. For example, if you’re based in France, you can use the Dassault Systèmes sovereign cloud solution Outscale to ensure all data is stored and managed locally in France, prevent any foreign interference, and uphold the integrity of your organization. Additionally, sovereign cloud infrastructure is set up to be fully compliant with local French laws and standards.

3. Performance and collaboration

With the sovereign cloud, businesses can still utilize all of the features that come with a traditional cloud solution, along with the added benefit of addressing cyber governance. For example, with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud, you have all the tools you’ll need for your business to bring its ideas to reality: design and engineering, manufacturing and production, simulation, governance and collaboration. With the added layer of sovereignty, governments and companies have the freedom to safely leverage large amounts of sensitive data from their cloud solutions and use it to accelerate the performance of their programs and experiment freely.

Industries using the sovereign cloud

While the sovereign cloud can be utilized in any business that wants a cloud solution with the highest level of security, there are a few industries in particular that seek it out. 

Aerospace & Defense

Increasingly, defense programs are using cloud technology for operations and maintenance of existing and new programs and require a secure space to host all company data. The aerospace and defense industry has security regulations that are specific to each program, and in France, the sovereign cloud can be used for trusted collaboration in a legal, fiscal or customer space. Whether it is using the sovereign cloud to support a country’s autonomy or to aid in the development of new aircraft, the sovereign cloud can be utilized by the aerospace and defense sector to accelerate its programs and ensure the utmost protection of its data. 


Cloud computing in healthcare has been growing for quite some time now, with healthcare providers and patients alike utilizing cloud technology to store and share massive amounts of sensitive health data, including patient records and clinical notes. Most would agree utilizing a cloud environment for shared data has helped speed up clinical analysis, and patient care, increase data accessibility and reduce costs – which ultimately leads to better health outcomes. However, healthcare providers also have the responsibility of keeping patients’ sensitive medical information confidential and following the regulations of the healthcare industry. More and more, the healthcare industry is realizing the benefits of using the sovereign cloud solution that can be customized to the stringent regulations of the healthcare sector and protect sensitive data.

Examples of sovereign clouds in action

Dassault Aviation 

Dassault Aviation, a leading French aerospace company and one of Dassault Systèmes’ long-term customers has always had the goal of bringing the highest level of security, sovereignty and collaboration to its major defense programs. As a next step in this goal, they are using Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud to develop its next-generation fighter, a key project in the future combat air system industrial collaboration to ensure the future of European autonomy and sovereignty in defense and security.  

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides a dedicated sovereign cloud environment localized on Dassault Aviation premises and operated by Dassault Systèmes resources to ensure the highest security for the team. Using the sovereign cloud, Dassault Aviation and its partners can develop the fighter in a highly collaborative environment where departments related to systems engineering, program management, design, and simulation work together while being compliant with the cyber regulations required of defense programs. Moving forward, Dassault Aviation hopes to utilize the sovereign cloud’s secure environment on all of its new programs. 

Getting started with the sovereign cloud

As more and more industries begin to use cloud platforms to increase collaboration, improve execution and accelerate new scenarios, many will look to find a solution that offers an extra layer of sovereignty and protection from cybersecurity crimes. Dassault Systèmes is proud to provide a sovereign environment for the 3DEXPERIENCE platform that provides organizations with a holistic, real-time view of their business activity in a single collaborative and interactive environment. By providing industries with the highest level of control over their data, they have the space and freedom to collaborate safely and explore endless possibilities. 

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