IBM yesterday unveiled a major $1.4 billion, seven-year outsourcing agreement with AstraZeneca to provide IT infrastructure services to 60 countries.

The principle aspects of the deal, which builds on a previous seven-year contract, cover server and storage hosting, as well as network and communications services. AstraZeneca will retain control of its overall IT strategy and the development and support of its application systems.

AstraZeneca’s chief information officer Richard Williams said in a statement that the deal will allow the UK drug giant to “deliver greater value to the business” and that it “will result in cost efficiencies when compared with running in-house systems.”