Understanding the importance of an IT Service Level Agreement

Any organisation should have a formal support agreement in place with their IT service provider. However, many organisations don’t have a formal agreement in place and often those that do don’t always take the time to read and understand it. Any support or service agreement should clearly state what is included (and excluded) in the service provided.

Key aspect of any support agreement
The most important aspect of the support agreement is the SLA or Service Level Agreement. This is a common understanding of the service provided including response times, guarantees and warranties associated with the support of your IT systems, services and applications.

Multiple SLA’s depending on the importance of the system or service.
For example, critical IT hardware could have a 0 – 4 hour response time, along with the engineering time to resolve the issue, time to liaise with the hardware manufacturer to avail of warranty, spare parts etc.

Critical hardware devices include servers, network switches, firewalls, phone systems and can be thought of as systems that impact the entire organisation in the event of failure.
Non critical hardware such as laptops, PC’s and Printers might have a next business day response time as failure would not impact the entire organisation.

Important consideration often overlooked
Your organisation should not have a dependency on non critical hardware that would impact the entire organisation in the event of failure. (For example if you depend on a single PC to produce information for products on a production line, you should have a second PC with the same configuration on standby)

SLA’s for all key service providers
SLA’s don’t just apply to your IT service provider they also apply to your telecoms provider, for example if you have business phone lines and broadband services your telecoms provider will provide you with an standard SLA in the event of an outage.
In summary a formal SLA should be in place for each aspect of the services you receive from your service providers. While it does not always guarantee a resolution time at least it gives you an element of management and control over the systems and services that are critical to your business.

IT Support SLA

At Planit Computing, we provide SLA’s that suit our customers requirements.  For more information on our IT Support, Services and Solutions –  please contact us on 014852222 or drop us an email on info@planitcomputing.ie


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