Migrating to the Cloud Makes News Corp More Agile

Managing an IT platform for a large multinational enterprise is an enormous challenge. For global media giant News Corp, which boasts $8.7 in revenue and operates 10 business units incorporating brands such as The Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins Publishers, Realtor.com and The Times of London, it’s a critical task.

The company recognized a need for IT transformation following a spin-off from 21st Century Fox in 2013. Older systems were slow, cumbersome and sometimes unreliable. “We required a new IT strategy that could accelerate digital transformation,” states Dominic Shine, global CIO for News Corp.

In order to support the company’s ambitious goals for growth and digital revenue, News Corp opted to take business and IT in a fundamentally different direction. “We determined that we had to dramatically consolidate our infrastructure and operations to free up capital, but also increase our agility,” Shine explains.

As a result, News Corp opted to embark on an ambitious migration to a public cloud in order to shrink from 66 data centers to six facilities, while expanding the overall technology platform. After examining its current IT infrastructure and mapping out a strategy, the company opted to migrate 75 percent of its IT infrastructure to the cloud.

Cloud Brings Agility, Efficiency and Savings

Today, about 50 percent of the company’s computing power resides in the cloud, and it is continuing to march toward the 75 percent goal. Using AWS and an array of cloud-based enterprise applications—including Salesforce.com, Google Apps, Slack and file-sharing service Dropbox—Shine says that News Corp has become far more agile and efficient—while trimming more than $100 million in IT costs.

In addition, the company turned to Okta to provide identity management and single sign-on for more than 25,000 employees scattered around the globe. “We required an infrastructure that would allow the business units to collaborate based on a common strategy, but drive transformation at a grassroots level,” he explains.

The company oversaw the transformation by assembling staff from different business units and establishing virtual teams that consist of business and IT leaders in three primary regions: North America, Europe and Australia. The group worked together—and closely with the corporate chief security officer—to establish standards and select the products and solutions that would best fit the new environment and drive digital transformation.

The result? “We have a high level of alignment between the organization’s overarching business goals and local performance,” Shine says. “Local groups are very attuned to strategic goals.”

The initiative is continuing to transform the company. In addition to the $100 million in cost savings already realized, the CIO says that the company is witnessing a remarkable increase in collaboration and productivity across business units and with external partners.

“As a result of the cloud infrastructure and new and better tools, we’ve been able to enable new workflows for journalists using video and other media,” Shine reports. “We have seen higher satisfaction rates among staff in various departments and units.

“We have also gained the ability to operate in a faster and more agile way, and to unleash huge productivity gains across the enterprise.”