the surprising about-face of the state in favor of the French ecosystem

the surprising about-face of the state in favor of the French ecosystem

the surprising about-face of the state in favor of the French ecosystem

Changing gears without seeming proven wrong: this is the very dangerous, if not impossible, balancing act that the government is facing in the very delicate issue of the state’s cloud strategy. On Monday 12 September, a shock trio composed of the European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, the Minister of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty Bruno Le Maire and the Delegate Minister for Digital and Telecommunications Jean-Noël Barrot, was was invited to the inauguration of the brand new datacenter – no pun intended – of OVHCloud in Strasbourg. The same datacenter that went up in flames in February 2021, burning with it some of the media credibility of the French cloud ecosystem. A few months later, in May 2021, the state announced its cloud doctrine and its Cloud of Trust strategy, in which the dominant American players in the market, notably Microsoft and Google, were well established. Since then, the rift has been deep between the macronias and the tricolor samples of the cloud.

Bleu, S3ns: Why Reliable Cloud Offerings Will Definitely Be Subject to the Cloud Act

Eighteen months later, a drastic change of atmosphere under the blue sky of Strasbourg. United behind OVHCloud, the entire French industry is finally recovering. Before a hearing of elected officials (deputy Philippe Latombe, Senator Catherine Morin-Dessailly, president of the Grand Est Region Jean Rottner …), companies in the sector (Jamespot, Wallix, Clever Cloud …) and personalities (the director of Anssi Guillaume Poupard, that of the General Management of Enterprises Thomas Courbe …), Bruno Le Maire, Thierry Breton and Jean-Noël Barrot have shown clear, massive and unequivocal support for the French cloud sector. A first. The goal: to finally put them at the center of the national strategy and remove a number of obstacles.

Cloud of Confidence with Gafam: “Decision makers shouldn’t be naive” (David Chassan, 3DS Outscale)

Opening of SecNumCloud to French cloud SMEs

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

While the state until recently encouraged the market to sign up for reliable Cloud offers with Gafam – which will not arrive before 2024 and are not yet labeled SecNumCloud by Anssi -, it is now pushing French players to get this security certification, which before. it seemed inaccessible to them due to the cost of obtaining it. To lift this brake, Bruno Le Maire announced that Anssi will implement a 2.5 million euro qualification support system, dedicated to startups and SMEs. offering platform services or software that can contribute to the modernization and resilience of businesses and administrations “The unofficial goal: to create other reliable Cloud offers than those currently in the pipeline with Gafam, thus correcting the political choice made in 2021.

Another announcement: the “clarification” of the doctrine of the State cloud, which entails a finer definition of the notion of sensitive data that must necessarily 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 protection against US extraterritoriality “Said Bruno Le Maire.

The two ministers also announced the creation of a Sector Strategic Committee (CSF) provisionally titled “digital trust”.. This ” common forum for exchanges with the state “, which will be chaired by OVHCloud CEO Michel Paulin, will have to” encourage cooperation and participate in the emergence of a competitive French offer in the coming years “Says Bercy. In other words, to unify the now dispersed French players, so that they can jointly create common offers capable of competing in terms of the number of services offered with those of Gafam. In the name of digital sovereignty, this strategic committee will be excluded from the Gafam. ” Only French cloud players can be present “, Confirms the General Management of Companies (DGE). Orange, Capgemini and Thales, who are also technology distributors and resellers, will participate. On his side, Michel Paulin will have to report to the government every six months on the composition, governance and objectives of this new CSF, ensuring good coordination with existing CSFs (especially the security industries and the industry of the future).

Finally, the government is counting on the regulations underway in Brussels to “ rebalance the cloud market “. It counts in particular on the European cybersecurity plan for the cloud, on the Data Act that will regulate industrial data, or on the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) Cloud, a European project worth 5 billion euros, which involves more than 180 companies to invent the cloud of tomorrow in Europe.

Orwellian deletion of any references to Trusted Cloud

If the government presents these ads as “ reaffirmation of the national cloud strategy, and thus claims some form of consistency since the announcement of the cloud strategy in May 2021, in reality this is not the case.

The strategic change announced by Bruno Le Maire and Jean-Noël Barrot is important and spectacular. In May 2021, Bruno Le Maire and then Secretary of State for Digital, Cédric O, had no words for the French cloud sector, other than to denigrate it. Cédric O even stated that the Gafam offer ” the best cloud services And assumed the argument that the French are not ” not level ” And ” they do not offer all the cloud bricks necessary for the digital transformation of companies and the state “.

Eighteen months later, his successor, Jean-Noël Barrot, said exactly the opposite. ” French cloud and data players master all the essential technology building blocks to deliver sovereign solutions for all strategic players “, he says. The new Minister of Digital even invites the State to” trust them ” for ” win the battle for digital sovereignty in spite of the American champions – Amazon, Microsoft, Google – of which he paints an unflattering portrait. According to him, the strength of the Americans was to offer ” global solutions “, satisfying all customer needs on a single platform, which allowed them to obtain a” economic domination that leads to technological dependence “, with his lot of “Extraterritorial risks to the security of our data “.

For his part, the same Bruno Le Maire who stated that American offers can be sovereign if sold by joint ventures under French law (Bleu for Microsoft with Orange and Capgemini, S3ns for Google with Thales), says today: ” I am against the principle of American extraterritoriality. I do not see in the name of what data essential to our sovereignty and independence could be seized. Nobody, not even our allies, can have the right to seize our data “However, more and more legal experts warn that reliable Cloud offerings with Gafam will be subject to extraterritorial FISA law and that Americans may also feel they are falling under the Cloud Act, requiring the creation of a true legal barrier, which is both costly and uncertain. that the SecNumCloud label should validate.

A year ago, the American Gafam presented themselves as ” partner essential, but today they have been cited only as data predators, armed weapons of a state, the United States, which arrogates, thanks to its extraterritorial laws – Cloud Act and FISA law -, access to our strategic data. In a blatant sign of the government’s overthrow, not once have the two ministers even mentioned the Cloud Trust strategy in their speech. This too is absent from the government press release, as if it never existed. Neither Bruno Le Maire and Jean-Noël Barrot once mentioned the names of French players – Orange, Capgemini, Thales – at the heart of the strategy presented last year, nor that of its craftsman, Cédric O.

They also seem to have forgotten that Emmanuel Macron himself said, during the presentation of France 2030: ” Will we have a completely sovereign cloud in 5 years? I don’t think it’s true to tell each other, because we are far behind the schedule. “. But the government today believes it is possible to quickly create French sovereign solutions.

“Go ahead and forget the differences of the past”

Something unthinkable a year ago: Thierry Breton, Bruno Le Maire and Jean-Noël Barrot received warm applause from the French cloud ecosystem gathered in Strasbourg.

This comes three years late but it is a real and extremely positive strategic reorganization “esteems the deputy (Modem), Philippe Latombe, while relativizing: ” there is still a lack of public procurement commitments, which is an essential lever for developing the French cloud champions “. And to conclude, a little quickly: the trusted cloud strategy is quietly buried “.

For their part, cloud entrepreneurs are excited about the module and are waiting to see what happens in essence. “Jean-Noël Barrot took the time to welcome us, listen to us and understand that the 2021 strategy was going right against the wall. This alone changes and is huge. Correcting the situation requires political courage, the government must assume to fork but cannot deny itself, it is not an easy position, it is better to go ahead and forget the differences of the past »Adds Alain Garnier, president of the Jamespot company (collaborative software).

If everything indicates that the government will now help build truly sovereign offerings rather than push the market into Gafam’s arms, it now remains to be seen how Bruno Le Maire and Jean-Noël Barrot will handle the inevitable response from Bleu, S3ns, and Gafam. , who, without being publicly disavowed, nevertheless received a hellish slap in the face in Strasbourg.

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