The employee site addresses incentive programmes, restaurant training and a marketing and communications programme, while its public domain focuses on nutrition, menu and location information.
Besides hosting, IBM will be responsible for all security related to both sites.
"In the end, it came down to 24 by 7 support and monitoring and [IBM's] very good history of stable platforms," said Hector Catre, Web solutions manager for McDonald's Canada.
Although Web hosting continues to be a viable alternative for many organisations, in the case of McDonald's, the need also arises out of self-preservation, Catre said. "Because we're in the public eye, the likelihood that someone would eventually try to hack us is very high."
Industry analysts believe sheer economics dictated that McDonald's sign on with a reputable organisation.
"From a practical point of view, IBM has a sterling reputation," said Mark Quigley, research director for the Yankee Group in Canada. "If you extend what the company is all about, everyone is confident that they won't disappear in the next few months."