The 5 Most Important Things To Look For In An IT Service Contract

Whether you’re outsourcing tier-1 technical support, hiring a specialist consultant, or outsourcing your entire IT department, an IT service contract is an absolutely critical document. To make sure you choose the right IT service provider in Canada for your needs, you need to take a close look at your IT service contract. 1

IT service contracts are also often known as SLAs – Service Level Agreements. A service level agreement outlines the expected level of responsiveness, service, and other detailed information about an IT services partner. 

 

The 5 Most Important Things To Look For In An IT Service Contract

Essentially, it’s the contract that entitles you to a particular level of service from your selected IT partner – and outlines the actions you can take if that service is not delivered in a satisfactory manner.

In this article, we’ll take a quick look at the 5 most important things that should be present in any IT solutions in Vancouver contract or SLA. Read on, and make sure that you’ve chosen the right IT service partner in Canada!

1. A Complete List Of The Support And Services That You Agreed Upon: 
In plain language, there should be a complete list of what your SLA covers – what services will be rendered to your company, what software and hardware are included, and what responsibilities you chose IT service company has taken on.

For example, if you sign a contract for outsourced tier-1 IT support, it will likely include services such as hardware replacement for end-users, phone and web support, help desk management and ticketing, and a variety of other services.

Make sure that all of the services you agreed on during negotiation are included – and ensure that there are no unnecessary support services included.

2. Clearly-Defined Exclusions & Limitations: 
IT SLAs usually also have a section that defines limitations and exclusions. This section of the agreement limits their responsibility in certain situations and circumstances that are out of their control.

This can include water and fire damage, natural disasters, serious employee error or sabotage, unapproved modifications to IT hardware, internal data theft, and other such limitations.

3. Guaranteed Response And Reasonable Resolution Times: 
Your IT services contract should outline both response and resolution times for IT issues. This is especially important if you’re hiring an IT Managed Services Provider (MSP) to replace your internal IT team, or if you’re outsourcing technical support.

Response time is defined as the time that it takes for a support provider to acknowledge and investigate an issue or a problem that you have raised. Resolution time is the time it takes for an issue to be fixed.

Typically, response time is clearly-defined in an SLA or support agreement. Most companies guarantee a very swift response time.

Resolution time is a bit more tricky, as different hardware and software issues will require vastly different approaches. For example, replacing a failed laptop is much easier than rebuilding or restoring a corrupted database – so the resolution time for these problems may differ dramatically.

Because of this, most companies define different resolution times based on the severity of a particular IT problem.

There should also documentation about the actions you can take if your IT service provider does not adhere to their stated guidelines – such as restitution, discounts on services rendered, or steps for terminating the contract.

4. A Full List Of Your Responsibilities And Conditions:
There should be a list of responsibilities and conditions that you, as the client, will have to fulfil for IT services providers. These often include:

  • Payment schedules 
  • IT problems or issues you must solve before the contract is effective 
  • Getting approval from your IT provider before changing your systems 
  • Designating a single “point-of-contact” for your services provider 
  • Meeting basic data security and continuity standards

Make sure that you are okay with all of these conditions, and ask your potential IT service provider if you are unclear about any particular item on the list.

5. A Clear Price Calculation:
Your SLA should define a clear price for your service – usually paid on a monthly, instalment basis until the contract ends.

You should examine the price calculation closely, and check for hidden fees, additional charges for special circumstances, and other potential costs.

Make sure you understand any and all of the charges that you are liable for – before signing on the dotted line.

Check For These 5 Things In Your Next SLA – Get The Service You Deserve!

Choosing IT services in Canada is a great way to bolster the capabilities of your IT team. But not all IT service providers are built alike. By following these tips when examining your IT SLA or service contract, you can ensure that you’re partnering with a reliable and trustworthy IT company.

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