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08 May 2024 Blog Formpipe Cloud Banking Manufacturing Retail Utilities Platform ERP Solutions Customer Communication Management Document Management SaaS Private Sector

Meeting Data residency requirements with Formpipe Cloud

If your company collects personal data, you’ll be aware of the data privacy laws you’re required to follow. Don’t, and you risk the penalties that come with non-compliance. No matter where you are in the world, regulations likely include guidelines around data residency. We’re keen to help you meet your data residency requirements when you use Formpipe Cloud. But before we dive into how we do this, let’s explore what data residency is and why it is essential to get it right.

What is Data Residency?

Data residency is the geographic location of an organisation’s data. It plays a key part in data privacy legislation, which details how organisations control and secure data stored across several countries or regions.

How does it differ from data sovereignty and data localisation?

Conversations around data residency can get confusing, as several key terms are used interchangeably when they actually have important nuances. Before we move forward, let’s discuss the meaning of the terms data residency, data sovereignty, and data localisation. While data residency refers to the location of the data, data sovereignty refers to the laws and regulations that govern data based on its location. Data localisation, on the other hand, is the requirement that data created in a specific location must stay in that location.

Why Does Data Residency Matter?

Now that we’ve defined the key terms on this topic let's focus on the matter at hand: data residency. Taking data residency into account is business-critical for many reasons. For example, not knowing your data’s residency makes it difficult for you to assess your organisation’s risk. A lack of awareness may also mean you are unable to provide additional protections for your customers, such as following best practices and implementing the correct security procedures.

Generally, organisations carefully consider the matter of data residency for the following reasons:

Legal compliance

Document management solutions tend to handle sensitive information subject to data residency laws, such as GDPR for companies within the European Union (or handling the data of EU citizens), which dictate where documents must physically reside. Companies choose data storage solutions to reduce the risk of non-compliance, which could result in large fines and significant reputational damage.


Knowing where your data resides allows you to also stay compliant with the relevant security regulations. For example, some countries, such as Germany and Switzerland, have strict laws around encryption. Storing your data in these locations can help you tick the right boxes when it comes to security requirements, showing your customers you take security seriously.


But legal compliance and security aren’t the only reasons to consider data residency. People are increasingly concerned about where their data is stored and how it is protected, expecting more data transparency from companies that use their data. To build trust with their customers, more companies are choosing to store data in specific locations to show commitment to user privacy and country-specific legislation.

Additionally, companies operating internationally may use several data centres in different locations to appeal to a wider customer base, especially those with strict data residency laws, such as Switzerland and the UAE.

Data Residency in Action: Switzerland and the UAE

Different countries have different regulations regarding data residency. For example, countries such as Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates have particularly strict data laws:


Switzerland has a strong reputation for financial services, partly due to its strong data protection laws. The Revised Federal Act on Data Protection (revFADP), which came into force on September 1st 2023, replaced the original FADP laws introduced in 1992. The revFACP was introduced to strengthen regulations due to technological advancements that have occurred since 1992, ensuring data protection in Switzerland harmonises with the GDPR requirements. 

Although there is no general requirement to keep personal data stored in Switzerland, some sectors, such as finance, have to abide by much more stringent regulations. For example, the revFADP restricts cross-border transfers to countries that do not have an adequate level of data protection. 

Additionally, certain types of sensitive data (such as financial and health data) may be subject to storage restrictions. Companies operating in Switzerland or handling the data of Swiss citizens must understand the sector-specific data residency requirements. 

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates strengthened its data protection laws in recent years. The Personal Data Protection Law came into force in January 2022. Drafted in partnership with major technology companies in the private sector, it emphasises transparency, fairness and legality in handling personal data.

The law allows for cross-border data transfers to countries with adequate levels of data protection, similar to legislation in the UAE. But that’s not all—data transfers to countries with different or no data protection legislation are also permitted, but only through signing agreements with foreign institutions and companies to comply with the UAE personal data protection law.

These two examples shine a light on why companies must take data residency into account, as building trust with customers and staying on the right side of the law in different jurisdictions are business-critical. Companies doing business in Switzerland, the UAE or other countries with strict data protection laws will find it much easier to comply with data residency regulations if they store data on residents within data centres located in those countries.

How Does Formpipe Cloud Meet Data Residency Requirements?

At Formpipe, we’re keen to help you meet data residency requirements. That’s why Formpipe Cloud, our document generation, delivery and archiving cloud solution, is hosted on Microsoft Azure. 

Microsoft Azure organises data centres into designated market areas called geographies. Geographies typically span one or more data centres and are created to help users ensure data residency compliance. But that’s not all—Azure also allows data to be replicated across multiple regions. These regions serve as the primary location, your data’s residency, and secondary locations, which act as backups. If you’re interested, you can learn more about Azure geographies here.

Transparency is a big thing for us at Formpipe—it informs what we do and how we do it. Just as we created our cloud monitoring solution to give our customers more transparency, we believe you should know exactly where your data resides.

Meet Data Residency Requirements with Formpipe Cloud

Formpipe Cloud provides next-level document generation, delivery and archiving through the cloud. If you want to move away from clunky legacy systems and spend more time focusing on your core business rather than infrastructure, Formpipe Cloud is the solution. There’s no need to worry about issues around data residency, because through Microsoft Azure, Formpipe Cloud is hosted in your chosen geography to make sure you meet the relevant regulations.

Please contact us to learn more about Formpipe Cloud. Alternatively, if you’d like to see Formpipe Cloud in action, book a live demo to see the true value of our document generation, delivery and archiving solution.

Jamie Oliver
Marketing Social Media Executive