Expertise: IT contracts

Dotting the I's and crossing the T's.

What’s the best way to prepare for IT negotiations?

To go in with a strong contract negotiation strategy. Before you do anything, establish whether it will be the customer or supplier who will take the lead in drafting the agreement. Especially if you are the customer, you should insist on including legal instructions in the Request for Proposal to cover topics like confidentiality, applicable law and the so-called ‘conditions precedent’ (to ensure board approval and works council endorsement). Covering all these bases will put you in a strong position.

What are the essential things to include in an IT contract?

As every IT project requires different building blocks for an underlying IT agreement, it’s hard to say what a ‘typical’ contract must include. However, in addition to standard clauses like liability and termination, a good IT contract will clearly establish what is delivered, how the services will be performed, when the deliverables will be provided and how much the supplier will charge. These are the foundations of a good working relationship.

How can I create maximum flexibility in my contracts?

Technology is constantly evolving and your IT contract should reflect this fact, especially if it’s a long-term deal. Having a change procedure with a clear pricing mechanism in place ensures that you’ll be protected no matter what the future brings. By including forward-looking clauses in your contract you can protect yourself from unpredictable developments like the introduction of new technologies, future changes within the organization, new legislation and new demands from customers.