Why is this Important?
With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a lot of the old ways of handling data using the data protection directive will be replaced. The goal of the regulation is to address the export of personal data outside the EU and give back citizens control of their personal data. With this in mind, the location of Data Centers holding your customers information need to become a priority at the risk of incurring heavy fines.
Secondary to this comes the more practical reasons you may want to be using local data centers, including the obvious fact that latency and efficiency of carrying out common process will become better.
Data Privacy Concerns
With controversies spanning the globe around internet and data surveillance, privacy has become a hot topic. What information is available about you and your customers and who is able to access it are just some of the questions which led to the creation of GDPR. A data center in a non-EU country which allows security and intelligence services the remit to access any data they please, often does not inspire confidence from European businesses or their customers, especially if that organisation holds very sensitive customer information. With data held in your region the risk of having to reveal this sensitive information to a foreign body remains minimal, especially since jurisdiction of the data is only given to a foreign country upon its entry into it.
From a User Engagement perspective, latency is greatly improved by having the data closer to you. If response times on your intranet are low, you can expect users to be dropping off too. Latency at a transatlantic level can often be double the latency of a location more regional, which is why having data centers closer to you is more important.
How can I move from the Data Centre I am currently using for Office 365?
Thankfully, Microsoft have been listening, and for a limited period are offering are allowing its customers to move their data center providing they had existing Office 365 tenants before the new datacenters in their region launched.
A full guide on how to carry out this process can be read here on the msdn site.