Service level agreements: Red and green signals
Service level agreements: Red and green signals
Insight

Service level agreements: Red and green signals

Service level agreements (SLAs) remain an essential part of outsourcing contracts, establishing the scope, quality, and responsibilities of service delivery reporting of the IT services agreement.

Service level agreements (SLAs) remain an essential part of outsourcing contracts, establishing the scope, quality, and responsibilities of service delivery reporting of the IT services agreement. Any discrepancies found in the draft can have a significant impact down the line, resulting in a gap between the agreements of service delivery and the reality of service on the ground. In a recent article for CIO magazine I offered some tips on navigating and creating comprehensive SLAs.

Use common sense language to replace irrelevant or confusing wording that only make the contract more difficult to interpret. Too many metrics will result in burdensome overhead for everyone involved — so aim for fewer, but more comprehensive service levels.

If your organization is seeking a premium when it comes to service levels, be mindful of overpaying for better service levels. Generally service providers have a singular approach to service delivery. The cost associated with higher service levels is more an allocation of risk than a planned improvement in the service.

Additionally, it is important to understand that SLA adherence is not a guaranteed success and realize that you cannot expect service levels to solve issues with performance—they simply identify the issues. Effective service management and governance are ultimately required to improve service.

Outsourcing done well delivers results. It can help your business succeed in an increasingly complex and changing world. To learn more about outsourcing and SLAs, visit our Outsourcing page.