As IT vendors grapple with the impacts and risks of COVID-19, how can customers manage exposure when contracting for new services?

By Alain Traill, Christian F. McDermott, and Andrew C. Moyle

COVID-19 has — temporarily or otherwise — disrupted the status quo. For IT vendors the situation is no different, with many being forced to dust off their contracts and seek relief under force majeure provisions. So, where does this leave customers that are seeking to enter into new IT service arrangements, but find themselves faced with pushback from increasingly risk-averse vendors (not just in terms of COVID-19, but also future COVID-19-type scenarios)?

The question of where risk should lie is becoming a new battleground in negotiations. This post focuses on the customer’s perspective, setting out some key steps that customers can take to help achieve a balanced contract.