What is Service Level Agreement (SLA)?


Service Level Agreement (SLA)

SLA (or Service Level Agreement) is a document that defines the rights and obligations of the IT outsourcer and the client.

SLA is usually used in the IT world because companies more often depend on external services such as hosting, cloud computing, and so on. However, almost any business relationship can be governed by a service level agreement.

Service Level Agreement describes the quality and quantity of services from the perspective of the contractor and recipient of the services and their mutual responsibilities. 

The document usually regulates:

  • Services that are provided, the time of service provision (days, hours) 
  • The number of users and units of equipment, their layout 
  • The procedure for reporting problems, including the timing of reports 
  • Conditions for escalating incidents 
  • Procedures for submitting change requests 
  • The established levels of service quality 
  • The methodology for calculation – service availability (average and minimum), service response time (average and maximum), average throughput 
  • Reports on the listed indicators 
  • Payment methods for the service 
  • Customer responsibility in terms of using the service: preparation of hardware and software configurations and support 
  • The procedure for resolving controversial technical issues which arise in the process of providing services.

The goal of any SLA is to secure the rules of the game. At the same time, it is important to understand that an SLA is not an internal document. It is concluded together with all business representatives and about which all users are informed.


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