IT contracts may range from acquisition of standard software solutions (commercial off-the-shelf products (COTS)) to complex development agreements requiring tailored agreements and counselling. We are familiar with the pitfalls and requirements associated with both simple and complex IT contracts.
Our team works daily with various types of IT contracts, including:
The various types of IT contracts give rise to a number of important items to be considered for each individual IT project or assignment. In general, however, it is decisive that the IT contract clearly lays down the parties' respective rights and obligations to avoid any future uncertainties or disputes.
The legal pivotal point in IT contracts for software is often the scope of rights granted. When it comes to license agreements and SaaS agreements, the extent of the customer's right of use will normally be an important item. The right of use is to take into account both the customer's current use of the software as well as any future scenarios in order to avoid subsequent uncertainties as to the scope of rights. As regard development, implementation and consultancy agreements, the issue will typically be which party is to have the full rights (ownership) to that what has been developed, and who is to obtain a (more limited) right of use.
In agreements concerning operation, hosting, support and maintenance it is important that the parties have considered and have described the exact distribution of responsibilities. The consequences of failure to comply with the obligations set out in such IT contracts are also to be addressed. In such agreements it may be relevant to enter into a service level agreement (SLA) setting out specific, measurable targets for the services to be provided and a penalty for failure to meet such targets.
As far as IT contracts on implementation and/or development services, it should also be considered which project methodology to use. The choice of methodology is often key to the success of a given project, and we will of course be happy to assist and handle the legal aspects relating to the choice of methodology for a project. Such a methodology may, for example, a waterfall model with completed phases, an agile or iterative model where development work is performed in repeated development processes/phases or a combination of the two.
Based on our experience and expertise - including our knowledge of market practices - we can provide advice on the various available possibilities and solutions - always with a view to ensure a suitable contractual basis.