News International has signed a five-year, multimillion pound outsourcing deal with Indian outsourcer HCL.

Under the agreement, the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper publisher – whose titles include The Sun, The News of the World, The Times and The Sunday Times – will see HCL manage its datacentres as well as its networks.

HCL already provides other undisclosed infrastructure management services to News International.

The focus of the new deal is on the management, consolidation and standardisation of the publisher’s storage and servers. News International wants to virtualise and standardise its server architecture on lower-cost systems, as well as improve business continuity.

Nick Leake, director of technology services at the company, said there was a focus on “reducing operational costs and increasing technology process standardisation”. The changes would also provide flexible technology, an “improved end-user experience” and more resilient systems.

The move also opened up opportunities for a shared tenancy setup in the “medium term”, he said.

News International, owned by Australian Rupert Murdoch, is the parent company of digital broadcaster Sky and regularly uses its newspapers to promote the TV channel and attack fellow CIO 100 entrant the BBC.