Service Level Agreement (SLA)
The information technology market is already solidified in Brazil. Although we are going through a period of economic downturn, the sector can be optimistic in 2015. According to the projections, the Brazilian IT market should stay well above the GDP for the country this year, finishing as the sixth sector with more investment. The expectation is that over 165.6 billion dollars will be moved, an increase of 5% compared to last year.
Of course, with the maturing of the sector, it is essential that good practices are also encouraged. After all, growth must come accompanied by credibility, right? And among the practices that most encourage credibility, are the SLA provisions. We need to clearly establish the goals and the relationship we have with our customers. If you still do not know what is SLA, check out our post and stay on top of it!
SLA — Service Level Agreement
Fundamental to any contract of provision of services in the IT area, the SLA — Service Level Agreement is the specification, in measurable and clear terms, of all services that the contractor can expect from the contracted party in the agreement relationship, as well as terms of commitment, service-level goals, technical support, contractual deadlines , among other aspects. In other words, it’s a technical clarification of the contract.
It is important to make it clear that the SLA is a required document in any IT contractual relationship, being described in the ABNT NBR ISO-IEC 20000-1, and should be reviewed periodically so that it can have more effectivity. It is only by a continuous review that the contractor may have the guarantee that the IT company will be able to provide support at all stages of the process and that, obviously it requires different attention and services.
The importance of the SLA and of indicators and metrics
Upon the establishment of the SLA, not only the contractor company, as well as the service provider itself, can have numerous assurances that the relationship will be productive and transparent. That is why, at the beginning of the post, we mentioned the impact of the SLA on the credibility of the entire industry. For the contractor company, for example, it is possible to apply fines in case of any breach of service provision or goals established, which may reassure the Manager regarding the contract executed.
On the other hand, the service provider company also protects itself against any abuse or inappropriate demands regarding results from the contractor company, since it will be working on a pre-established script that favors the internal planning itself — such as the hiring of specialized personnel in the right measure, for example, or in the preparation of contingency action plans to meet the service goals defined.
It is important to make it clear that the SLA must be managed, giving rise to what we call SLM (Service Level Management). For this task to be effective, we must rely on a series of indicators which allow a transparency between the IT organization and its clients, as, for example, indicators of availability (Service Availability) and the MTBF response time. Good practices such as these ensure transparency and continuity of this progressive growth in the information technology area.
Examples of service level agreements
SLAs are used both in contractual relations between companies as well as in service relations between areas of the same organization. An example of SLA agreed between companies would be an agreement of 99.5% availability of the internet or virtual infrastructure. Whereas n internal agreement between areas of an organization could be business-critical systems availability that can never be interrupted, as a system that impacts sales of a company such as a CRM or an e-commerce platform. To guarantee technology vendors on a service level agreement has the goal of, besides ensuring security on a contract, enabling investment planning, because based on the values, on the guarantee and the financial impact of all these for the business it is possible to work with measurable results.
How to measure SLA (Service Level Agreement) in an IT monitoring tool
There is no single way to measure SLA. Its measurement can be performed by different tools. As our industry is IT infrastructure monitoring, let’s take as an example the product we have developed.
At OpMon, we manage the IT environments of all our customers, as well as some business processes. From the data generated, we were able to define, as in the example of the item above, the availability of Internet links. Other examples would be the closing percentage of calls according to the goal stipulated by the management of a service operation or the availability of the infrastructure. If you are interested in knowing more about our product, click the button below: