Service level agreements streamline operations and allow both parties to find an appropriate framework to ensure business efficiency and customer satisfaction. On the other hand, companies can identify problems that arise when service level agreements are not respected, and then make the necessary decisions to find additional budgetary resources, impose sanctions or seek out other suppliers and employees. These agreements may exist between companies (for example. B between a company and an external cloud provider) or entirely within an organization (for example. B between an IT or support service and its user base). You can be one-way (one party takes responsibility for all the details) or two-way (both parties share responsibility for certain elements or actions). Some companies focus on the service level performance of their individual IT services and not on the service that customers actually get. This often leads to what is called the “watermelon” effect, where the SLA metrics show that everything is fine (“green”), but that the client is unhappy (“red”). A typical example is when service reports show that all levels of service are satisfied, even though services have had unanticipated downtime during the work day. This is usually due to the fact that service levels have been designed from an IT perspective and they each look at an IT department.
This can be avoided with a technique known as “Outside in”. SLAs must first be designed from a customer perspective to examine the services it has used and the business requirements for quality service. Service levels for IT and related services, such as the . B The Service Desk, must then be designed to meet these business requirements. The result is service levels that reflect both the customer experience and the various IT and other services that create the experience. Rules for calculating penalties for non-compliance with the customer`s level of service that cover the requirements of a customer or group of customers within a company, including all services provided to it. An example is standard availability for all services available to a customer. Most service providers provide statistics, often through an online portal.
There, customers can check whether ALS is being met and whether they are entitled to service credits or other penalties under ALS. Well-developed and implemented service level agreements can benefit customers, users and suppliers, including internal IT. The best way to achieve these benefits is careful design, planned implementation, active use and continuous improvement.