At the beginning of 2011, ComputerWorld published an article about emerging IT trends. One of those trends is an improvement in IT service level agreements (SLA’s). Is it time for your company to review its current service level agreements, and possibly refine or create new SLA’s?
The overall purpose of an IT service level agreement is to insure there is complete understanding of the IT related services that will be provided in order to support an application, a department, a network, hardware, or the users who use the systems and software. For example, an SLA for a company’s email software may specify that all users must have access to their corporate email 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If a user cannot access email, the SLA would state what mechanism is provided to contact a support representative to resolve the issue.
Other items covered in service level agreements include:
In addition, some newer SLA’s specify user productivity requirements and customer satisfaction analysis or rankings. For example, an order processing system may have the expectation that a normal 5 item order should take less than one minute to process and be approved completely. Or, the quarterly customer service survey must have at least 95% positive approvals. Also consider upcoming initiatives and projects, and whether these implementations could have an impact on your current SLA’s.
With cloud computing, wireless applications and accessibility, and other new technology implementation, it might be time to review your service level agreements, and determine if you still have the right criteria to meet your business demands.
Handling the Remedy is available here and other leading retailers:
David G. Peterson is a business consultant and author of Handling the Remedy. He has extensive international experience managing projects and operations for large financial institutions. He has worked in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia skillfully managing business and technical requirements, core systems enhancement and support, merger and acquisition integration's, business process reengineering, off-shoring and outsourcing.