Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 11.39.42DURHAM County Cricket Club has made its first signing of the new season in a three year deal with technology expert ITPS, which will see the club switch to cloud technology to get a better return on its IT investment and strengthen its data backup and security arrangements.

The contract sees ITPS take responsibility for day to day support of the ICT infrastructure of the club and its charity arm the DCC Foundation, including backup of systems and data to ITPS’s new £4m data centre in Chester le Street, via cloud services.

The fastest-growing part of the IT sector, cloud services describes any IT resource that is provided over the public internet or via dedicated private communications links.

Pioneered by commonly used consumer applications such as Gmail, Dropbox and iCloud, cloud services have quickly been taken up by the business community. The Cloud Industry Forum estimates that 69percent of organisations have adopted at least one cloud-based service within their business, effectively allowing them to rent rather than buy IT hardware and software services, by accessing them via the internet.

Durham CCC sales director Tom Seymour said: “Making these enhancements to our IT infrastructure will increase functionality, improve communications and help us to reduce costs as we continue to grow our profile as a leading entertainment and hospitality venue as well as an international cricket ground.

“Expertise and quality of service were our benchmarks when we were looking for a new IT partner. ITPS has an excellent reputation among the North East business community and we look forward to a very successful partnership.”

Gateshead-based ITPS specialises in integrated IT consultancy, implementation and support services, unified communications and workspace recovery, employing 103 people at its bases in Gateshead and Chester le Street.

Last year saw the business attract a £242,000 grant from the Let’s Grow fund to create a third data centre in a former 33,000sq ft IBM business continuity and recovery facility, giving the company the largest data centre in the North East.

George Galloway, commercial director of ITPS added: “We are delighted that Durham CCC has chosen to work with ITPS, and join the growing band of clients benefiting from our investment in high security, high speed data centre facilities.

“Every business rests on data, and by adopting a cloud approach to its backup and storage, the club is taking the first step towards buying infrastructure as a service like any other business utility.

“Cloud computing does not necessarily mean your data or applications are sitting in a cloud outside your control, it simply means using internet-based services to deliver access to all or part of your systems and data.

“Every cloud model is different and can be tailored to individual needs and budgets, but its main benefit lies in slashing capital expenditure by removing the need to buy and maintain a large physical infrastructure of servers, storage and software.

“We look forward to being able to help the club achieve significantly more value from its IT investment, and look at ways to implement new and emerging technologies that will benefit the business.”