What Is an IT Service Maintenance Contract?

First of all, what are IT services? Well, generally speaking, the use of business and technical skills to help enterprises in the creation, administration, and enhancement of or availability of information and business processes is referred to as IT services. The IT services industry may be categorized based on the capabilities required to offer the service, which might be to design, to construct, or to run. IT services are classified into three types: business process services, application services, and infrastructure services.

An IT service maintenance contract is a legal document that specifies how the IT supplier will maintain and support the IT system. It also specifies which things will be supported by the provider, what actions will be carried out, and how the customer may anticipate problems that appear within the IT system to be addressed. They are extremely valuable when a company’s IT services are failing and immediate action is required. Throughout the period, the support company is paid on a regular basis, and they ensure that any problems that arise are resolved within the time frame agreed upon.

What’s Inside an IT Service Maintenance Contract?

Here are the following key elements to keep in mind when you draft an IT service maintenance contract:

Introduction. This section of the contract should show the client what they need from the IT service maintenance company. Making use of specific items will show the clients of the service company how their problems can be solved in a better way than any of the competing companies. Usually, their advantages over anyone else are also listed here in this section.Definition of common terms. Self-explanatory, this part of the service maintenance contract seeks to define all the terminology that is used in the contract. Having this section is particularly important since it makes sure that all the parties/readers will understand the terms in the contract in the way that the writer intends to do so.Services to be Performed. This part of the contract should contain all the specific tasks that are to be performed by the service company along with the timeline and the deliverables that are to be provided to the client. This part should also be done well as this is also an opportunity for the service company to distinguish itself from the competitors. Typically, the format here would be the title and/or the brief description of the task, the estimated number of hours to complete, the detailed description of the task, and the deliverables to be accomplished.Items Covered. This clause of the service maintenance contract lists all the hardware, software, and services to be covered under the IT service maintenance contract. It also states that the listing may be updated at any given time throughout the contract provided that an agreement has been reached between the parties involved.Pricing. Usually done in a table format, this section of the contract lists the pricing for each maintenance service that is to be performed by the maintenance company and states that the prices depicted have been agreed upon by the parties involved prior to the contract being finalized and signed.Payment Terms. This part of the IT service maintenance contract states that the client will then pay the service maintenance provider the total agreed amount within a given period of time from the completion of the services being provided. This section may also be written in the form of a list of terms for a payment plan or monthly installments should the project be ongoing.Warranties and Disclaimers. This section can also be included in writing a service maintenance contract since, by definition, a warranty is a guarantee made by the seller of a product or the provider of a service that the service or product will be as described. It might be an express guarantee arising from the seller’s representation, or an implicit warranty arising by operation of law. A warranty disclaimer, on the other hand, operates to disclaim or deny guarantees that might otherwise apply to the goods or service.Penalties Clause. This section in the IT service maintenance contract is a provision that requires the defaulting party to compensate the innocent party in the case of a contract breach, such as failure to provide the services required. Obtaining compensation for a breach of contract may be a tough procedure that necessitates an onerous and costly court struggle. Because of this, the penalties clause is included in the contract. With such a clause in place, the violating party is more inclined to pay the penalty to the opposing party rather than resolve the case in court. Furthermore, a penalty clause serves the objective of discouraging a party from violating the contract due to the fear of the repercussions.Exclusion Clause. An exclusion clause is a contract clause that aims to exclude or restrict the obligation of one of the contract’s parties. Because professional service contracts often cap responsibility at the contract amount and exclude all indirect or consequential damages, an exclusion clause is usually included in a service maintenance contract.Terms for Termination. This clause of the IT services maintenance contract states the terms to be followed should any of the parties elect to terminate the contract. In the case of this type of maintenance contract, the maintenance company is given a specific period of time to relinquish any type of data (passwords, confidential data, technology, and so on) that are deemed important for the client’s operations. It then further states that the client has a certain amount of time to pay the amount that is stated in the contract to the service maintenance company.Force Majeure Clause. This is the part of the IT service maintenance contract that states that the parties involved are relieved from their obligations in the contract should extraordinary circumstances happen beyond their control.Agreement. This final part states in wording that all the parties involved in the contract acknowledge that the terms written in the contract are true and therefore they agree to be bound to the said terms throughout the contract’s duration.

What Are the Different Types of IT Services?

Listed below are some of the different types of IT services; It is essential to learn about them so that you may know what type of service you need for your business.

Hardware Support. Several forms of IT services are better off being outsourced on demand. Hardware support falls under these types of services. Hardware support involves repairs to equipment such as computers, laptops, and printers. You may also get rid of old equipment by using hardware services. A professional will properly dispose of your technology, including formatting hard drives to erase all information which is recommended because just erasing data is worthless and constitutes a security risk.Network Management. Network services start with the installation of equipment at your site, which includes the setup of servers, the installation of firewalls, and the connection of printers. The supplier may also install security measures, such as two-factor authentication, to prevent unauthorized logins. Several businesses have two networks: one that connects to the internet and another that is internal to the company. It is vital to maintain their security and integrity in order to avoid a security risk. If your staff has wireless access to your local network or you utilize a payment system, you must constantly manage your networks./ns_tblspan]Low-Level Managed Services. These services often include software installation and the integration of the current network with a new system. Through system monitoring, the managed service provider (MSP) will also give you continuous assistance. It is crucial to remember that with a low-level service, the MSP would inform you if there are indicators of security threats or performance difficulties, but will take no action to resolve these issues. Furthermore, you are also going to do your own IT planning for this type of service.High-Level Managed Services. This sort of service is best suited for higher-level corporate requirements. You’ll get assistance for your network, data analytics, and communications, as well as everything else that comes with the lower-level services, with this sort of service. If necessary, the supplier can supply you with accessibility to a mobile networking system that can be accessed from any location. At this level, you may also get in-depth planning. The supplier will keep you informed about advances in the IT sector that may be advantageous to your company and will give you the choice to modify the services you are getting.On-demand Service. This sort of service can be used instead of managed service providers. This service’s purpose is self-explanatory: receiving services on demand. This type of service allows you to pay as you go rather than spending a predetermined amount each month. It might be a useful choice for companies who want to avoid long-term commitments.

Steps in Drafting an IT Service Maintenance Contract

Knowing how to draft an IT service maintenance contract is essential so that the service providers and their respective clients fully understand their rights and responsibilities in the said contract. With that being said, here are the steps to follow in drafting one:

  • 1. Introductory Part

    In the first part of the contract, the things that should be written include the definition of terms section, which will help the readers understand the terms in the way it was intended to be by the writer, and the identification of the parties section, which will define what company will be the service maintenance provider and what company will be the client. It is essential to write the parties’ full legal names whenever they are to be identified in this part of the service maintenance contract.

  • 2. Services

    After completing the introductory part of the service maintenance contract, this step then follows. Outline the maintenance services that will be provided early in the contract. In this part, go into detail and mention as many services as you can. Furthermore, list the items to be covered by the services listed. It is critical to list everything because if a contract disagreement develops over a certain sort of service that is not specified in the contract, you may discover that the contract becomes less useful in court. Consider examining and amending this section of the contract before renewing it to verify that the contract covers the whole scope of services provided.

  • 3. Compensation

    After listing the services to be performed and the items covered by the services, proceed to this step. What needs to be done here is to discuss the agreed-upon remuneration structure for services. When drafting a contract with an unaffiliated maintenance contractor, describe the hourly rate to be paid, payment methods, and any additional compensation terms. If you are working with a bigger service provider, put in the contract any compensation measures that both parties have agreed upon, including payment terms and price reductions for early payment in full.

  • 4. Auxiliary Sections

    After listing out the methods of compensation for the service provider, proceed to this step. The auxiliary sections of the IT service maintenance contract include the warranties and guidelines for handling disputes. Warranties can be as basic as a promise that both parties will continue to follow all legal legislation for the duration of the partnership, or as complicated as money-back guarantees for spending time on completing work that the client is displeased with. When drafting terms for handling disputes, keep in mind that in order to avoid dragging both organizations through the judicial system, consider demanding expert arbitration or mediation in contract disagreements. Include indemnification provisions that spell out what each party agrees the other party can and cannot be held accountable for.

  • 5. Guidelines for Termination

    After writing down the auxiliary sections of the contract, the last step is to outline the guidelines for contract termination. As an example, a provision can be included that states that the contract is automatically null and invalid if any party is convicted of fraud or other specific criminal conduct.


How is having a maintenance contract advantageous?

Having a maintenance contract in place is one way to avoid getting caught off-guard and unsure what to do when their equipment or technology fails. In the real world, no one can predict when an emergency is going to occur and everyone in the company must be prepared should that time come. When you have a maintenance contract in place, you will be able to call on the maintenance personnel to assist you, and they will be able to take care of any difficulties you may be experiencing. You won’t have to worry about finding individuals to assist you this way.

What is an IT help desk?

A help desk for IT services enables employees to request assistance with any IT problem, whether hardware or software-related. If you don’t have in-house IT expertise present in the company, it’s a good idea to outsource a help desk. However, by giving personnel enough training on the tools they will need to utilize, there is a possibility that you may reduce the requirement for this service.

Is outsourcing necessary when IT services are needed?

Outsourcing IT services may be the best solution for your company, depending on its size and sector. Furthermore, based on your workers’ knowledge, the time you have to devote to IT, and the level of security you demand, you may decide to hire a managed service provider. Many small companies like this choice since it allows them to acquire a range of services from a single source.

As stated earlier, when your business relies on IT services, it helps to be prepared in advance in the eventuality that things go wrong. A good way of preparing for this eventuality is by preparing an IT service maintenance contract to ensure timely support for your company in case something goes off-track. In this article, various examples of this type of maintenance contract are readily available for you to have a look at when you need to make one.