A service level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a service provider and its customers, which documents the services that the provider will provide and defines the service standards that the provider is required to meet. Tools that automate the collection and display of service-level performance data are also available. In this article, we help you understand what an SLA actually is and how it works. You will also learn about 1) the different types of service level agreements that apply to different types of businesses, 2) the key elements of a service level agreement, 3) SLA management 101, 4) SLA processes, and 5) some examples. Here you define the responsibilities of both the service provider and the customer. Few people know what a service level agreement actually is, but as the name suggests, it formally defines a service provided by a provider, as well as a detailed description of different aspects, such as responsibilities, quality and scope, that are taken into account in the provision of that service. An SLA also serves as a contract between the provider and the customer for ongoing improvements, replenishment of inventories and current payments. In the late 1980s, IT outsourcing emerged, and SLAs evolved as a mechanism for managing these relationships. Service level agreements set expectations for a service provider`s performance and set penalties for not achieving targets and, in some cases, bonuses for exceeding them. Since outsourcing projects have often been tailored to a particular client, outsourcing SLAs have often been designed to regulate a particular project. Any professional interested in developing a career in IT service management should consider an ITIL v4 certification course.
After being certified at ITIL Foundation, you can help a business organization implement IT service management best practices and use IT as a tool for its growth or change. SAs are thought to originate from network service providers, but are now widespread in a number of areas related to information technology. Some examples of industries that create SLAs are IT service providers and management service providers, as well as cloud and Internet service providers. A service level agreement (SLA) defines the level of service a customer expects from a provider and defines the metrics against which that service is measured and the corrective actions or penalties if the agreed service levels are not met. Normally, there are SLAs between companies and external suppliers, but they can also be between two divisions within the same company. Most of the responsibilities you form for your customers vary depending on the type of IT strategy in your company. For example, if you want to keep costs low, you can emphasize the importance of self-service or direct access instead of offering 24/7 high-tech support. There are several ways to write an SLA. Below is a simulated table of contents (TOC) that you can use as a startup template to write your own service level agreements. A service level agreement (SLA) is a documented agreement between a service provider and a customer that identifies both the services needed and the expected level of service.
Agreement varies between suppliers, services and sectors….