IT maintenance is one of the top issues concerning organisations worldwide. There are so many variables to control at any given time, such as costs and meeting changing user demands, that keeping on top of IT maintenance can be a logistical nightmare.

Then, for organisations, comes the problem of consistency of standards from IT service providers. Managing different contracts can be difficult, and when CIOs have no guarantee that a new service provider will sing from the same hymn sheet as the last, the process becomes even more inefficient.

Well, this week analyst firm Gartner took a step towards solving this little debacle, by releasing its code of conduct for IT maintenance. The purpose of the code is to bridge the gap between what contracts the IT industry sells and what IT departments buy.

David Cappuccio, vice president and chief of research at Gartner, said: “Organisations need timely, reliable, cost-effective IT maintenance, but they just aren’t getting it.

“On the one hand, hardware and software maintenance represents the single largest IT expense for many organisations, but it’s also a huge source of revenue for IT vendors.

“This fundamental conflict presents many problems for IT consumers.”

Gartner compiled the code by bringing together CIOs and industry heads to discuss needs from both sides. This council highlighted some of the most important needs for organisations. Transparency of information, such as the details of a cloud service provider’s security processes, came up as a top requirement.

Predictability – that is, the confidence that the levels of service that come with a product will not fluctuate – was another need, as was control and having plenty of options when it comes to support agreements. Finally, a focus from vendors and service providers on business outcomes for the enterprise was a top requirement.