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Murdoch hacks grumble over outsourced IT failures

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To picturesque Wapping, where unrest among hacks and techies about recent IT cuts at News International is bubbling following a 24-hour email outage yesterday that crippled newsrooms and commercial operations alike.

Cast in the role of villain is CIO Andrew Hickey, the man responsible for a broad IT outsourcing deal in December that has seen many functions taken over by HCL, of Noida, near New Delhi.

The Reg's embedded correspondent sent this exclusive report: "The new disaster recovery system is a complete clusterf*ck.

"When the problem happened it replicated to all the active directory servers, so the email disaster recovery system was deleted completely."

Hickey has a background with Accenture, and has brought in several of his former colleagues to manage the soaraway outsourcing bonanza.

"He believes all IT departments from banks to supermarkets to newspapers can be run in the same way: ie just using off-the-shelf software administered by low-skill employees," our man says.

Editorial colleagues are also grumbling loudly about the decision to make deep cuts to the communications functions of a communications company.

Announcing the deal, Hickey - who clearly doesn't share Sun subs' gift for direct language - said: "I believe that longer term, technology cost optimization, after standardization, will be driven by shared tenancy models and this deal positions us to take advantage of this model in the medium term."

We think he means that it's cheap.

A News International spokeswoman said suggestions that the outsourcing programme was to blame for the outage were "not correct", but refused to discuss the cause further or make any other comment. ®

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