As businesses increasingly look for cost optimization, many executives consider outsourcing some functions as an effective method of cutting costs. Once the organization signed up with an outsourcing agreement, there is no way to determine the quality of service without a Service Level Agreement or SLA. This service contract component provides specific and measurable aspects – like quality, availability, responsibility etc. – All of which are related to service offerings. An SLA aims to simplify collaboration between service providers and customers by clarifying the services that are going to be provided. With that said, there are certain pitfalls that you might want to avoid when writing up your SLA
Let’s look at the following common mistakes the IT leaders should avoid for crafting an effective Service Level Agreement.
1. Having an incomplete Service Level Agreement.
A well written SLA should include performance metrics, audits, feedback schedule, exceptions to the service, and other agreements that you might have with your service provider. These are easily missed, but thought out, and well-crafted SLAs are the first step to effective collaboration. The next big mistake is…
2. Not reassessing SLAs regularly.
Changes happen, so you have to be flexible and agile to adopt them in time on your SLA and reflect it on your documentation.
3. Failure to agree on Service Level Agreements upfront.
Negotiations, clarifications, and agreements are essential when it comes to establishing an effective SLA. In some cases, both parties assume that expectations are clear, but that might not be the case.
4. Ignoring the other party’s point of view.
SLA should be both a blueprint for how MSP delivers its services and guidance on how customers should handle some important issues.
5. Unrealistic performance targets.
Unrealistic expectations can derail a successful SLA from both sides, so it is important to set measurable and achievable service requirements.
6. Siloed SLAs.
Some SLAs are too focused on individual infrastructure and application component uptime, which makes them problematic. To provide the best possible business outcomes SLAs should be focused on business outcomes, consolidated and holistic.
7. Overcomplicating Service Level Agreements.
Try to keep it simple wherever it is possible. An SLA which is too long and overloaded with professional terms might be difficult to understand.
8. Assuming that SLAs are not important for cloud.
This is a mistake. A Cloud SLA ensures cloud providers meet certain enterprise-level requirements and provide the customer with a clearly defined set of deliverables. The same applies to another important issue, which is cybersecurity.
9. Not addressing cybersecurity.
A professional IT service provider should define the level of service to be provided in their SLAs. This would include time to recover operational system or server in case of failure, how often customers’ data will be backed up, how often servers will be tested, how often vulnerability assessments will be conducted and many more.
10. Considering Service Level Agreement as a conflict resolution tool.
Relying on contractual language to resolve an issue is a strategic mistake that might negatively impact both sides.
Developing SLAs is not easy, but once an agreement is in place, the IT service provider and its customers will enjoy a partnership with manageable expectations. At Klik Solutions, we always pay due attention to all the aspects of what our client wants. This starts from composing agreements to providing the best customer service and Amazing IT experience. Would you like to make your judgment? Contact us and find out.