Any organisation should have a formal support agreement in place with their IT service provider. However, many organisations don’t have a formal agreement in place and often those that do don’t always take the time to read and understand it. Any support or service agreement should clearly state what is included (and excluded) in the service provided.
Key aspect of any support agreement
The most important aspect of the support agreement is the SLA or Service Level Agreement. This is a common understanding of the service provided including response times, guarantees and warranties associated with the support of your IT systems, services and applications.
Multiple SLA’s depending on the importance of the system or service.
For example, critical IT hardware could have a 0 – 4 hour response time, along with the engineering time to resolve the issue, time to liaise with the hardware manufacturer to avail of warranty, spare parts etc.
Critical hardware devices include servers, network switches, firewalls, phone systems and can be thought of as systems that impact the entire organisation in the event of failure.
Non critical hardware such as laptops, PC’s and Printers might have a next business day response time as failure would not impact the entire organisation.