What Is a Service Level Agreement Itil
A service level agreement is an agreement between two or more parties in which one is the customer and the other is the service provider. It can be a legally binding formal or informal “contract” (e.B. ministerial relations). The agreement can include separate organizations or different teams within an organization. Contracts between the service provider and other third parties are often (wrongly) called SLAs – since the performance level was set by the specified customer (customer), there can be no “agreement” between third parties; These agreements are simply “contracts”. However, operational-level agreements or AROs can be used by internal groups to support SLAs. If an aspect of a service has not been agreed with the customer, it is not an “SLA”. SLAs are thought to come from network service providers, but they are now widely used in a number of IT-related fields. Examples of industries that establish SLAs include IT service providers and managed service providers, as well as cloud and Internet service providers. Maintaining service level agreements is part of service level management.
Whenever a service change or service level objective of a service change occurs, the service level agreement must be reviewed and revised. The new service level agreement must reflect changes to the service or service level objectives. Therefore, the management of service level agreements is an important part of ITIL`s continuous service improvement. As businesses evolve, so do service requirements. An SLA should not be considered a static document. In fact, SLAs should include a clearly defined framework for changes during the term of the contract. The SLA should be reviewed regularly, especially if: Overall, an SLA typically includes an explanation of the objectives, a list of services to be covered by the agreement, and a definition of the responsibilities of the service provider and the customer under the SLA. Each IT department has its own deadline and approval schedule, which must be completed accordingly. We will review our service catalog to understand the relationship between the divisions involved and the processes that are carried out in the provision of each service.
With that in mind, here are six best practices for creating and adhering to IT service SLAs in an IT service management (ITSM) environment. When IT outsourcing emerged in the late 1980s, SLAs evolved into a mechanism to govern such relationships. Service level agreements set out a service provider`s performance expectations and set penalties for non-compliance with targets and, in some cases, bonuses for exceeding. Since outsourcing projects were often customized for a specific client, outsourcing SLAs were often designed to govern a particular project. Service Level Management (TEM) is defined as “responsible for ensuring that all of its service management processes, operational-level agreements, and underlying contracts are appropriate for the agreed service level objectives. SLM monitors and reports on service levels and conducts regular customer assessments. The result that the customer receives as a result of the service provided is at the center of the service level agreement. These systems and processes are often controlled by specialized third-party companies. If this is the case, it is necessary that the third party is also involved in the SLA negotiations. This gives them clarity on the service levels that need to be tracked and explanations on how to track them. Typically, these processes and methods are left to the outsourcing company to ensure that these processes and methods can support the SLA.
However, it is recommended that the client and the outsourcing company work together during SLA negotiations to eliminate misunderstandings about the process and method of support, as well as management and reporting methods. Choose measures that motivate good behavior. The first objective of each metric is to motivate the appropriate behavior on behalf of the customer and the service provider. Each side of the relationship will try to optimize its actions to achieve the performance objectives defined by the metrics. First, focus on the behavior you want to motivate. Then, test your metrics by putting yourself in the place on the other side. How would you optimize your performance? Does this optimization support the desired results? For example, you are a customer of a bank and the bank provides services for you. A service level agreement between you and the bank describes the services provided and the service levels at which they are provided. For example, the bank allows you to withdraw money from an ATM and the transaction takes no more than 10 seconds. This is an example of a service level agreement and part of service level management. Finally, it is important to provide a baseline for service level agreement metrics. This baseline needs to be adequate, but can be tightened during an ALS review if more data has been collected on this measure.
The measures should reflect only those factors that are under the reasonable control of the service provider. Measurements should also be easy to capture. In addition, both parties should refuse to choose excessive amounts of measurements or measurements that produce large amounts of data. However, it can also be problematic to include too few measures, as the absence of a measure could give the impression that the contract has been breached. Stakeholders – Clearly defines the parties involved in the agreement and defines their responsibilities. SLAs must be created for the results desired by the customer. Pay attention to the “watermelon effect”, where the service provider evaluates sla measures (e.B. Service Availability) and at the same time does not support your client`s real goals. The SLA should include components in two areas: services and management. A service level agreement typically contains the following information (actual content may vary depending on the type of service): Understanding the structure of service level management and service level agreement will give you an advantage in helping your business deliver on its promises.
The ability to create and manage service solutions ensures that your business and its customers can communicate more clearly to meet common needs. SLAs are an essential part of any outsourcing and technology provider contract. In addition to listing expectations for the type and quality of service, an SLA provides remedies if the requirements are not met. It is just as important to define where an SLA does not apply as it does where it applies. Your SLA should define all common and unusual situations that hinder or prevent the processing of IT services. This last point is essential; Service requirements and vendor functionality are evolving, so there needs to be a way to ensure that the SLA is kept up to date. In addition to specifying the services to be provided, the contract should also document how the services are to be monitored, including how data is collected and reported, how often it is reviewed, and who is involved in the audit. Service level agreements contain metrics that measure the service provider`s performance for its services. It can be difficult to correctly select measures that are fair to both parties.
It is important that the measures are under the control of the service provider. If the service provider cannot control whether the metric is operating within the specification, it is unfair to hold them accountable for the metric. Most service providers provide statistics, often through an online portal. There, customers can verify that SLAs are being met and whether they are eligible for service credits or other penalties as stated in the SLA. Tools to automate the collection and display of service-level performance data are also available. Cloud providers are more reluctant to change their standard SLAs because their margins are based on providing basic services to many buyers. In some cases, however, customers can negotiate terms with their cloud providers. For example, the customer is responsible for providing an agent to resolve issues with the SLA-related service provider. .