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An uptime provision is part of a service level agreement or other formal agreement that determines how much uptime a client can expect from a vendor-provided service or system. Provisions for uptime and downtime are a major part of making today’s technology service agreements more concrete, and providing better context for the many partnerships that exist between enterprises and technology vendors.
The idea behind an uptime provision is that a service provider should be able to estimate how much uptime they can provide, or what percentage of operating time a service will be in good working order. Many different kinds of tech services have less than 100 percent uptime. As a result, clients may encounter some unplanned outages or interruptions. These types of downtime can damage business processes, or otherwise have a negative impact on a client’s use of technology services. With an uptime provision, clients can at least understand how much downtime they may face according to the terms of an agreement. Without these kinds of provisions, clients could find that service companies have not provided them with a consistent service, and a lot of conflict may result. Traditionally, companies often relied on arbitration to settle these kinds of issues. However, with concrete elements like uptime and downtime provisions, today’s technology agreements are much more durable, and many kinds of vendors are much less likely to face complex negotiations from clients after services have been provided. Although uptime and downtime are just part of how service-level agreements get defined, they are extremely important because the ability to use the service depends on consistent functionality and access.