News International's digital future looks to the cloud

Interview: CIO Paul Cheesbrough discusses the tech behind an increasingly digital business...

Paul Cheesbrough moved to News International from the Telegraph

Paul Cheesbrough moved to News International from the Telegraph Media Group and is pushing cloud computing across the companyPhoto: News International

The media industry is undergoing a huge shift as audiences move from print to online news and increasingly access content via mobile devices.

As publisher of The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and the News of the World newspapers, News International is dealing with these changes while also pursuing ambitious plans for audiences to pay for their online content.

Technology is playing a crucial role with the company upgrading its infrastructure to support these changes in audience but also developing its own consumer-facing technology that will attract paying audiences.

Paul Cheesbrough was chosen as the man to lead the technology strategy for News International in the UK and became CIO in September 2010.

Cheesbrough made his name as a proponent of cloud computing during a three-year stint at the Telegraph Media Group (TMG) in which he masterminded a strategy to move much of the company's IT infrastructure into the cloud.

Reflecting the huge changes he made at TMG, Cheesbrough was voted onto the CIO50 list in 2010.

Now six months into his job with News International, Cheesbrough is bringing cloud technology to a bigger and more complex organisation, while also overseeing the development of online technology for audiences.

He spoke to about moving to a new business, the changes he's made since taking up his current role and the major technology projects underway at News International.

Starting the journey to the cloud again

The technology landscape Cheesbrough encountered when he arrived at News International was significantly different to the one he had left at TMG. Whereas much of TMG's technology was in the cloud when Cheesbrough left, News International had a far more traditional technology set-up.

"Having built that up [at TMG] and then come into News International and having gone back to a very on-premise, self-managed model again, you miss a lot of what you got from the cloud," he told

The operating model for the technology team was focused much more on...