What is SLA?

Feb. 1, 2019, 11:20 a.m.

1 Answer

Feb. 24, 2019, 8:23 p.m.

In an increasingly competitive environment, work on the quality of services is an integral part of the service business. Since it is impossible to imagine any improvements without metrics and agreements regarding these metrics, we come to the idea of an SLA.

SLA - Service Level Agreement (Service Level Agreement) - an external document (existing between the customer and the contractor), describing the parameters of the provided service. “Compliance with SLA” is equivalent to the fact that the service works in such a way that the actual parameters correspond to the metric values stated in the agreement. Although the term SLA itself appeared in IT, today such documents are used to describe a variety of services, both in IT and in other B2B segments, for example, in servicing commercial real estate, in repairing specialized equipment, etc.

SLA agreements are actively applied where the contractor and the customer of services are autonomous with respect to each other. This can be a relationship between companies or even divisions of one business if one of them is positioned as an internal outsourcer. In such cases, however, a different abbreviation of three letters is provided: OLA - Operational Level Agreement - a similar company internal document SLA, defining the areas of responsibility of the divisions when interacting in the process of forming a certain external service.

The goal of any SLA is to consolidate the rules of the game with a certain category of business users, according to which IT will play with them. At the same time, it is important to understand that the SLA is not an internal IT document, but a contract, which is concluded jointly with business representatives, and about which all users are informed. The SLA describes the conditions for the provision of services (services), establishes a list of such services, as well as the rules by which the customer will use these services. At the same time, SLA is one of the main mechanisms for managing the quality of IT services and managing user expectations.