Sports clothing retail group JD Sports has signed a £2m five-year IT management outsourcing deal to enable compliance with the payment card industry data security standard (PCI DSS).
IT outsourcing company Pasporte will migrate and host the back-office applications of the 350-store group as well as implement systems for near real-time disaster recovery and wide area network (WAN) management.
Harry Willoughby, IT manager at JD Sports, said, "With our PCI DSS compliance programme under way, the opportunity to achieve a better foundation for our IT systems and accelerate our governance strategy made a compelling business case."
Willoughby said improved risk mitigation backed up by Pasporte's virtual IT team would help accelerate PCI DSS accreditation.
The industry standard was developed by credit card companies to prevent fraud and improve security of payment card data.
Pasporte started migrating JD Sports' applications and data with a pilot at the end of 2007 using IBM's Softek replication tool, and is due to complete the project by May 2008.
Pasporte will also use the Softek tool to synchronise data between its two hosted datacentres to ensure continuity of the retailer's IT operations during the migration and in the event of a system failure.
Willoughby said the business was already benefiting because its internal IT team had been freed up to work on new ways of using technology to support business growth.