News

Group Codifies IT Maintenance Consumer Rights

A council of global IT CIOs, in conjunction with research group Gartner Inc., has released a "code of conduct" for solution vendors on IT maintenance issues.

The Gartner Global IT Council for IT Maintenance released the report this week, defining seven critical issues in hardware and software maintenance. The report defines a set of "consumer rights" that address each issue.

"The council represents the voice of some very large customers," said David Cappuccio, vice president and chief of research for infrastructure at Gartner, in a telephone interview. "I suspect that large vendors will want to listen to what they [the council] are saying, given the size and depth of the market."

According to Gartner, hardware and software maintenance represent a significant IT expense for many enterprises, and it is a major source of revenue for vendors such as Microsoft, Dell and HP.

"Both the vendors and the customers have a lot at stake, so it just makes sense that we identify some best practices for doing  business," said Cappuccio.

The council is made up of chief information officers (CIOs) and CIO equivalents from leading companies around the world. It includes representatives from Lowe's Companies, McGraw-Hill, Lukoil (Russia), Bell Helicopter, Tata Motors (India), Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bank of Canada and others.

IT maintenance is the topic of a second report of recommendations issued by the council. The first focused on cloud services.

Cappuccio said that the council initially identified more than 35 issues concerning IT maintenance and then concentrated on the top seven. The seven basic rights of the consumer address issues ranging from predictable software updates and vendor response times to the right to end or change a support contract for products that are not in use.

"We realize that not all vendors are going to adopt these rights to the letter, but this will serve as a starting point for critical vendor-customer communications," said Cappuccio. "We also realize that some of these rights may interfere with certain vendors' business agendas and competitive strategies.

"The point is we now have some talking points, and if some of the larger vendors adopt some of these policies, or even come up with their own, we will have a better set of business practices regarding hardware and software maintenance."

Gartner is currently circulating the code of conduct to IT vendors, and it is available for free here.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media.

Featured

  • Red Brick Graphic

    Microsoft To Pour Millions into Partner Incentives, Azure and Security in FY2025

    Microsoft's inaugural MCAPS Start for Partners event took place this week, marking the beginning of its fiscal 2025.

  • New Microsoft Security Releases Aim To Smooth the Road to Zero Trust

    IT teams often juggle multiple tools to monitor and maintain the security of their environments. Two new products released by Microsoft this week aim to consolidate their toolboxes and help organizations achieve zero trust faster.

  • Antitrust Worries Hound Microsoft Off OpenAI's Board: Report

    In a move likely meant to assuage antitrust regulators' concerns, Microsoft on Wednesday stepped down from its role as a non-voting OpenAI board member.

  • Image of a futuristic maze

    The 2024 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    Everything Microsoft partners and IT pros need to know about major Microsoft product milestones this year.