Slack Launches UK Data Residency

Slack users based in the UK can now choose where they'd like their data hosted

Slack Launches UK Data Residency

Slack’s launching a new data residency in the UK. The programme will let organisations choose which country or region its data gets stored in. The announcement of the new service follows the launch of other data residency programmes introduced outside the U.S., including Germany, France, Australia, and Japan for Slack Plus and Enterprise Grid customers

In a statement, Slack said to support over 12 million collaborators using the tool, the company wanted to extend options as to where enterprises could store sensitive data, adding: “For the most part, data were primarily stored in the U.S., posing a challenge for some companies overseas that wanted to host data closer to home.”

Addressing the issue of markets that have more stringent regulations, Slack told me, this is why it launched the service in the first place, targeting industries such as financial services, the public sector, and healthcare. As of now, Frankfurt, Paris, Sydney, and Tokyo, have data centers. The U.S. and Canada will soon be available, I’m told.

“Slack helps customers meet specific industry regulations or international security and data privacy standards, including FINRA, HIPAA, FedRAMP, and GDPR”

Because of the risk involved in housing such critical data points, Slack said it certifies its service with ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, SOC 2 Type II, SOC 3, EU-US Privacy Shield, Swiss-US Privacy Shield, and Cloud Security Alliance to ensure high levels of protection. Slack stores user-generated data, which includes messages, posts, files, as well as searches in its data centers, data Slack said it encrypts.

According to the company, app-generated Slack messages and files are stored in the same region as user-generated messages. “The location of data from the third-party apps teams use with Slack is dependent on the application partner’s policies.” Existing Slack customers can move data to new regions, but the entire organisation must make the move, I’m told.

In the UK alone, Slack boasts some impressive usage figures. The UK is Slack’s third-largest global market in terms of daily active users. The U.S comes in at number one, and Japan, number two. A Slack spokesperson told me, 40+ of the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE 100) companies are paying Slack customers.

When it comes to usage, the top five UK cities by the number of daily active users can be broken down as follows: London, Manchester, Reading, Bristol, and Edinburgh. I’m also told Slack has 25+ employees working in the company’s London office, which opened back in May 2017.

Here are some more London-specific stats the company shared with me for the weeks pre-dating February 17-21 and post-March 16-20. I’m told, the average number of hours of UK users connected via Slack increased by 16 percent. The average number of messages sent per user (mobile and desktop) increased by 28 percent., and the number of messages sent per user on (desktop) increased by 33 percent. The number of mobile messages sent per user in the UK is said to have increased by 17 percent.


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