This is based on our modular approach to creating IT contracts that we follow. Some people cite CRT support and maintenance conditions, a „service contract“ or „SLA“ (Service Level Agreement). As a general rule, the SMO defines a set of „service levels“ that must be met, with an acceptable minimum threshold and an unacceptable threshold. These levels of service must be measurable and subject to reporting. An ALS is a kind of contract (even if it is called an agreement) and contract law is therefore the most applicable right. Contract law is based primarily on the common law (such as case law). There are many recent cases that have things like: Chief Information Officers (CIOS) need to be aware (and carefully consider) different things when signing a service level contract, such as guarantees, compensation, liability, remedial action, and penalties for an infringement. The tasks and responsibilities of each contracting party should also be defined. They must ensure that a description of the service and the standard in which services are to be provided are also included. A combination of legal and technical skills is required to meet the needs. We are legal experts and we understand technology and the ICT sector, which puts us in a good position to develop a service level agreement for IT services.
Typically, we design a service level agreement that consists of two components, but it can all be included in a document: John Giles, general counsel at Michalsons: „In South Africa, there is a lot of confusion about service level agreements. People seem to have different understandings of who they are and why they should exist. There are many types of service level agreements that baffle the problem. The person in charge of the business relationship („owner of the document“) is responsible for the regular verification of this document. The content of this document may be amended if necessary, provided that the main stakeholders obtain mutual agreement and are communicated to all parties involved. The holder of the document will take into account all subsequent revisions and will request, if necessary, reciprocal agreements/authorizations. Service levels are at the heart of the relationship, as they define the (agreed) criteria that show that the desired quality of service has been achieved. There is no general agreement on „service levels.“ What for? The content depends entirely on what the service itself is. This can be any service you want to measure (from supporting potted plants in your office to hosting your IT infrastructure). It is necessary to identify and quantify the main activities that will be needed. Perfect performance is not a realistic criterion.
In an industry that provides services to parties who can have a thorough understanding of the services provided and the technologies used, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) provide a middle ground in which the terms of engagement can be clearly defined. „The service level agreements offered by the service provider are generally one-sided. CIOS must hire trusted consultants to ensure that clients` interests are integrated into ALS. Leak clauses are essential. „Early termination of contracts that do not meet service levels is essential, as are provisions to manage the transition to new service providers and the mandatory cooperation of the existing service provider. The customer is very dependent on IT for the business and the guarantee of business continuity is essential. It is essential to carefully specify events that cause risks for early detection and reduction.